Kathmandu, June 14

The Government of Germany has pledged fresh grants of 34.4 million euros (more than NRs 4.8 billion) for continuation of German support until the year 2023 for technical cooperation and till 2025 for financial cooperation.

Government representatives from both sides signed a new development cooperation agreement today in a ceremony held virtually, according to a press release issued by the Embassy of Germany in Kathmandu.

The signing of the agreement follows negotiations between the two governments in November 2020.

The German Development Cooperation is focusing on three thematic areas: health, sustainable economic development and energy efficiency/renewable energy.

According to the release, German Ambassador to Nepal Roland Schaefer said the signing of the new agreement underlined the good relations between 'our two nations' and also 'our ongoing common efforts for the people of Nepal.' "With our focal sectors of health, sustainable economic development and energy, we are strongly committed to achieving development together with the Nepali people.

Besides our bilateral cooperation we see an important role with the civil society, which is an indispensable part of any development effort in Nepal," Ambassador Schaefer added.

The lion's share of the committed funds will be allocated to the sectors of health (23.7 million euros), energy 17.5 million euros and sustainable economic development (15.4 million euros). The geographical focus of the cooperation will remain on the rural regions of Nepal's mid and far west.

Altogether, German financial support to Nepal amounts to more than EUR 1 billion since 1959.

In the time of COVID-19, Germany also strongly supports the people of Nepal in tackling the ongoing crisis.

On 8 June 2021, the first German airplane with medical supplies had arrived at Tribhuvan International Airport, carrying ventilators, isolation tents and KN95-masks. Also, additional funding of almost EUR 11 million has been provided from the Emergency COVID Support Programme of the German Government. These funds will support efforts to increase and strengthen the resilience of the Nepali health sector in combating COVID and to mitigate social and economic impacts.

''The EU has already exported 240 million doses of vaccine to 90 countries, which is about as much we have used within the EU.

Germany alone is contributing 100 million euros to the COVAX initiative for equal distribution of COVID -19 vaccines,'' Ambassador Schäfer said.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 15, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.