PA/04/20 22 September 2020
Australia supports Bhutan in its COVID-19 preparedness, response and recovery
Extending support to Bhutan in its fight against COVID-19, the Australian Government has supplied medical equipment in response to the Royal Government of Bhutan’s request for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The medical supplies, which include protective clothing, sanitising liquid and protective masks, reached Bhutan today, and will support Bhutan’s implementation of its COVID-19 Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.
Australia’s Ambassador to Bhutan, His Excellency the Hon Barry O’Farrell AO, said “Australia stands alongside Bhutan in the fight against COVID-19. We are working with the Royal Government to support health workers, and the community, to access the necessary equipment to minimise the spread of infection.”
This assistance will provide essential support to those at the frontline of the current health crisis. It follows a request to Australia from the Royal Government for specific assistance to meet the challenges presented by the virus.
“The unprecedented scale of this crisis requires us all to work together to protect ou health and shared prosperity,” Mr O’Farrell added.
Bhutan’s Ambassador in India, Maj. General V. Namgyel, conveyed the deep appreciation of the Royal Government of Bhutan for the generous provision of the PPE.
He said “His Majesty The King and the Royal Government are working to ensure the health and security of all individuals in the country and are resolved to not lose a single life to the pandemic. The solidarity and assistance extended by Australia to Bhutan in the fight against the COVID-19 virus will always be remembered by the Bhutanese people.”
Ambassador Namgyel also thanked the Australian Government for the opportunities given to Bhutanese to study and work in Australia.
Australia and Bhutan enjoy a warm relationship, built on strong people-to-people links and cooperation on international education. Australia’s broader bilateral support to Bhutan focuses on developing human resource capacity, building people-to-people linkages and strengthening tertiary institutions. Australia continues to support Bhutan’s current Five Year Plan towards a smooth transition from least developed country (LDC) status.