Today, the United States is proud to announce the arrival of 1.53 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at the Tribhuvan International Airport. This donation reaffirms the United States’ decades-old commitment to the Nepali people and is a continuation of our ongoing support to Nepal during the COVID-19 crisis. These vaccines, which require only one shot, are gifts to Nepal on behalf of the American people and have the singular purpose of saving lives. The U.S. donated vaccines are being delivered to the Nepali people in partnership with the COVAX global vaccine initiative and UNICEF.
Speaking at a arrival ceremony with the Minister of Health and Population Krishna Gopal Shrestha, the United States Ambassador Randy Berry said, “These vaccines will not only save lives and help Nepal emerge from this pandemic, but they will also help to recover economic losses and regain the opportunity to safely visit with our friends, families, and neighbors.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has delivered nearly $70 million in ongoing COVID-19 assistance to Nepal. This includes $55 million mobilized by USAID for oxygen cylinders, breathing devices, COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, treatment, personal protective equipment, and infection prevention. The United States Department of Defense has provided over $7.3 million for isolation and disaster camps, oxygen cylinders, oxygen concentrators, and non-invasive breathing and oxygen therapy devices, telemedicine equipment, handwashing stations, and medical equipment and gear for health clinics and health care workers.
As we continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic at home and work to end the pandemic worldwide, President Biden has promised that the United States will be an arsenal of vaccines for the world. Today’s donation is part of that plan, and delivers on President Biden’s commitment to include Nepal among the countries prioritized for the initial the 80 million doses the United States is sharing with the world right now. The United States has also pledged $4 billion to support COVAX with the purchase and delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to 92 low- and middle-income countries. This commitment is delivering on our pledge to transparently facilitate equitable global access to safe and effective vaccines. In March, Nepal was among the first countries in Asia to receive these vaccines.
# # #