Life-saving support and supplies have been delivered to the families of British Gurkha veterans and communities across Nepal after the UK Embassy in Kathmandu teamed up with the Gurkha Welfare Trust.
Foreign Office staff in Nepal negotiated with the local authorities to allow the supplies of vital equipment and basic necessities to be transported through strict lockdown measures in the mountainous country.
The diplomatic agreements allowed life-saving provisions, such as medicines, pensions, PPE, hand sanitiser, and clean water to reach Gurkha veterans and rural health facilities on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the Trust travelled across tough terrain, sometimes by foot, to reach veterans and health facilities dotted across the country.
Through UK aid funding and with the help of the British Embassy’s staff, the Trust’s COVID-19 Intervention Programme has so far supported 53 health facilities, 14 Government institutions, and 17 quarantine centres across Nepal.
The British Ambassador to Nepal, Nicola Pollitt said:
The UK’s relationship with the Gurkhas is so special, and the work that The Gurkha Welfare Trust does is such an important part of recognising the selfless service that these soldiers have given to our country.
Their contribution to the coronavirus response has been typically exemplary, and I am pleased that the team here in the Embassy, with help from departments across government, were able to back them up.
Director of The Gurkha Welfare Trust, Al Howard added:
We are extremely proud of our community programmes in Nepal, including the provision of clean and safe drinking water to thousands of people across the country. To put those skills to use at a time when we all need to pull together is a pleasure and a privilege. I sincerely hope it helps in the fight against COVID-19.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust has been supporting Gurkha veterans and their families in Nepal for more than 50 years.
Before the pandemic hit, the Trust’s priority has been to provide welfare and medical support to the Gurkha veterans and their families living across the country.