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Nepal begins negotiations with international donors for help to fight COVID-19

KATHMANDU: Nepal government has established communication with all potential international donors, including the bilateral and multilateral agencies in an effort to arrange critical financial resources and logistics required to combat with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Access has been established with the concerned international bilateral and multilateral agencies. Talks are underway for the cash, commodity or technical support,” said Shree Krishna Nepal, Chief of the International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division at the Ministry of Finance.
He said that there was a significant progress in the talks with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank while efforts are being made to bring in support from the International Monetary Fund and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as well.
The government has sent official letters to China, India and Switzerland seeking support in the fight against the pandemic that is expanded to more than 200 countries across the world and claimed the lives of about 31,000 people.
The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health and Population are collaborating in establishing access to the sources and donors and in close coordination.
According to MoFA, the first lot of the support materials, including the personal protection equipment (PPE) and virus test kit from China arrived in Kathmandu Sunday morning.
“Our effort is to bring in the required materials from various developed countries but as most of them are under lockdown, there is a problem to get the things in fast track method,” said Bharat Raj Paudyal, Spokesperson of the foreign ministry.
There are constraints in getting even the PPEs and masks and producers are facing various challenges and restrictions in transporting the goods. The pandemic has forced the countries to announce lockdown in order to stop virus from further spread.
“Transportation constraints have challenged the movement of the health materials that are in the pipeline,” said Paudyal.
He said that the government was making preparations at multiple fronts and would arrange the logistics as well as financial resources for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has said in a tweet that the health materials received or bought from China would be sent to the newly established coronavirus testing facilities in all seven provinces.

Published Date: Sunday, March 29th, 2020 | 08:21 PM

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