Rajesh Rai  | Phuentsholing

Extending support to Bhutan to address the Covid-19 pandemic, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Bhutan World Friends Programme Office in Thimphu handed over 350 Oxygen D-Type cylinders worth USD 50,000 to the ministry of health (MoH).

The handing-taking ceremony was held at the Medical Store and Distribution Division (MSDD) in Phuentsholing on July 11.

The oxygen cylinders will be distributed to the three referral hospitals in Thimphu, Gelephu, and Mongar.

At the event, the programme coordinator with KOICA Bhutan World Friends Program Office, Eunkyoung Koh, said that the assistance was a part of Korea’s effort to fulfill the commitment and to show solidarity to Bhutan.

“I sincerely hope that today’s assistance will help Bhutan to successfully overcome this pandemic,” she said. “I would like to highlight once again that Korea stands firmly by Bhutan as a true friend and partner. We would like to recommit our support to the government and the people of Bhutan.”

In May, the Government of Republic of Korea contributed Covid-19 prevention items, which included test kits worth USD 400,000 to the Bhutan to fight Covid-19 pandemic.

“The Republic of Korea’s experience of combatting Covid-19 is well-known in the world, for its 3Ts (Test-Trace-Treat) strategies. This could be a great momentum for Republic of Korea to support Covid-19 response in Bhutan. On behalf of Korean Government, KOICA will take the necessary measure to flatten curve of the epidemic in Bhutan,” Eunkyoung Koh said.

KOICA is a governmental agency of the Republic of Korea, founded in 1991 and established its volunteer office called “World Friends Program Office” in Thimphu in December 2019.

KOICA implements grant aids and technical cooperation, supporting the socio-economic development of partner countries on behalf of the Korean government.

Health ministry’s director general with the department of medical services, Dr Pandup Tshering, said Bhutan as an import-driven country faced shortage of medical supplies and explained the assistance would greatly benefit to fight the pandemic.

“On behalf of the Royal Government of Bhutan and the MoH, I would like to convey our sincere gratitude to the Republic of Korea and KOICA Bhutan World Friends Program office for generous support in mobilising the medical supplies,” he said.