KATHMANDU, June 9: The US government has announced an additional $5.5 million in new funding, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), to mitigate the secondary impacts of the spread of COVID-19 in Nepal.
This new funding brings the United States Government's COVID-19 assistance to Nepal to a total of $7.3 million, according to a press statement issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
Through this assistance, USAID will work with the Government of Nepal to address second-order impacts of the crisis in Nepal. Specifically, the funding will mobilize finance essential to economic recovery for Nepali small businesses, building on existing partnerships to address urgent needs within hard-hit municipalities; and assist local governments and institutions in vulnerable communities to assess, plan for, and respond to socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, while leveraging private sector investment.
The USAID is also providing health assistance funding to conduct community-level risk-communications, prepare laboratory systems, activate case-finding and surveillance, and support technical experts for response and preparedness, the statement further said.
“Times of crisis like these are the truest test of a partnership, and we remain committed to building a more resilient, healthy, prosperous, and self-reliant Nepal during these hard times – and beyond,” the press statement quoted US Ambassador to Nepal, Randy Berry, as saying.
The strong and collaborative partnership of the US with the Nepal government spans over 70 years and includes the delivery of over $1.5 billion in U.S. assistance to support the development of the agriculture, education, health, and other socio-economic sectors in Nepal.
The US has been the world's largest provider of bilateral assistance in global health for decades since 2009, according to the statement. American taxpayers have funded more than $100 billion in health assistance and nearly $70 billion in humanitarian assistance.