KATHMANDU, APRIL 29
US Ambassador Randy W Berry today said the United States and Nepal had always stood with one another.
Issuing a statement on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, he said, "Throughout these 75 years and through the decades of change that have occurred in both of our countries, the United States and Nepal have stood with one another". "Americans know Nepalis as the people who make laudable advances in medicine and science, reach nearly impossible heights as mountaineers,honourably and bravely serve as UN peacekeepers, and enrich the world's heritage through diversity of arts and culture," he added.
This week reminds us that the connection between Americans and Nepalis is and has been a connection that lasts for generations, Ambassador Berry said. According to him, the United States' historic support for Nepal's health sector reflects the powerful results of our partnership. In the 1950s, malaria afflicted nearly 25 per cent of the population.
The US government through USAID, supported the Malaria Control Programme and by 1968, malaria cases dropped from more than two million to 2,468 cases nationwide.
In the last two years since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has donated nearly 3.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to Nepal till date, and given over $124.8 million in COVID assistance. Separately, in February of this year, the Government of Nepal ratified the Millennium Challenge Corporation Nepal Compact. The result of this Compact will help modernise Nepal's energy and transportation sectors, assisting over 23 million Nepalis.
"Finally, the United States admires the rich history of Nepal. The Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation helps preserve cultural heritage around the world. In nearly 20 years, this programme has supported 25 cultural preservation projects in Nepal, investing more than $3.8 million. One result of this programme includes Kathmandu's beautiful Gaddi Baithak, Ambassador Berry said.
The foundation of this multi-generational US-Nepal relationship is people-to-people connections, sovereignty, and democratic values. Today, we need each other more than ever to tackle difficult issues like addressing the climate crisis and protecting democracy in the face of rising authoritarianism, he said.
A version of this article appears in the print on April 30, 2022, of The Himalayan Times