Kathmandu: The European Union has offered an aid package of Nepalese Rupees 9.8 billion to Nepal to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and to boost the Himalayan nation’s economic response, the EU mission here said in a statement.
Nepal has reported 52 cases of the deadly coronavirus and no deaths.
“We hope that our contribution will support the efforts of the government to respond effectively to this crisis so that the impact on the most vulnerable is reduced. International cooperation and solidarity are now more important than ever,” Veronica Cody, EU ambassador to Nepal, said in the statement released here.
Out of the total amount of Nepalese Rupees 9.8 billion (75 million euros), Nepalese Rupees 7.2 billion (55 million euros) is a reorientation of existing funds and Nepalese Rupees 2.6 billion (20 million euros) represents a new commitment, it said.
The 27-member economic bloc’s support will be directed at two areas: Assisting the Nepali authorities to respond to the immediate health crisis and boosting the country’s economic response and recovery.
The support combines redirected existing commitments with new funds, granted in the form of budget support to allow the government direct and swift access to this financing, the statement said.
Across the world, the EU is ensuring that partner countries are able to fight the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences. By combining resources from the EU, its member states, and European Financial institutions, the EU has put together a “Team Europe” package totalling more than 20 billion euros to support its partners’ immediate health responses to the coronavirus, as well as their economic recovery, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The European Union has also contributed Nepalese Rupees 14.9 billion to the World Health Organisation to support countries under particular strain and with weaker health systems, including Nepal, the report said.