Children beg UK government to help Nepal in COVID-19 crisis
- Credit: Courtesy of Andrew Christie
With Nepal in the grip of a second wave of coronavirus, primary school children in Stevenage have written to their MP or the prime minister, imploring the UK government to help.
Last week, Nepal's prime minister made an urgent plea to Boris Johnson for vaccines against COVID-19.
Less than three per cent of Nepal's population has been fully vaccinated and the country is struggling with shortages of hospital beds and oxygen supplies.
Now, 1,000 pupils from 12 schools in Stevenage, Knebworth, Graveley and Datchworth - including The Leys and Almond Hill - have written to either Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland or Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking them to step in.
These schools have forged close bonds with schools in Nepal through the British Council's Connecting Classrooms programme.
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Jacob, in Year 5 at Martins Wood in Stevenage, wrote to Mr Johnson: "It is extremely important we give countries like Nepal resources such as vaccines, hospital beds, oxygen, masks, visors and hand sanitiser. Whenever you do not want to help somebody in need, think about how you would feel if you were in the position of that unlucky person."
Israela, in Year 4 at Stevenage's St Margaret Clitherow, wrote to Mr McPartland: "Please help them and help me not to worry."
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Andrew Christie, assistant head at The Leys, said: "We worry for our friends in Nepal. We hope our children's letters can persuade the government to transport much-needed medical supplies to support the overwhelmed Nepali healthcare system."
Mr McPartland said he was really pleased to receive the letters and will be writing back, offering to visit the schools.
He said: "We have already provided Nepal with 260 ventilators, 2,000 pieces of PPE and a new oxygen generation plant that is saving 150 lives a day. Our surplus vaccines go to COVAX and we are one of the largest donors, with Nepal being allocated almost two million vaccines so far.
"At the G7 summit, the prime minister has persuaded the other leaders to work together and fund another billion vaccines for poorer countries. This builds on the amazing success of British people and scientists that provided billions of pounds to help develop vaccines to fight this disease.”