The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Permanent Under-Secretary Sir Simon McDonald and the UK Department for International Development’s (DFID) Permanent Secretary Mark Lowcock arrived in Nepal today for an official visit.
Their visit occurs as we are celebrating 200 years of diplomatic relations between Nepal and UK. It is opportunity to celebrate both modern and historic links between the two countries.
According to a press release issued by British Embassy, during their visit Simon McDonald and Mark Lowcock will discuss bilateral and international issues with senior Government of Nepal figures, including the Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, and Finance Minister. They will also meet with a wide range of people from business and politics to discuss issues that are important to both countries, including the current political situation, human rights, the economic and humanitarian challenges facing Nepal, ways the UK can help Nepal improve its business environment and boost bilateral trade and investment, and future development partnerships.
Mark Lowcock and Simon McDonald will visit the UKaid funded Humanitarian Staging Area at Tribhuvan International Airport and the UKaid funded Red Cross earthquake preparedness programme to learn more about DFID Nepal’s work on disaster preparedness.
“Reconstruction is a high development priority and the UK stands ready to support the Government of Nepal’s leadership in rebuilding Nepal. DFID Nepal has had a £65m Business Case approved by the Ministry of Finance for a UKaid program to support earthquake recovery,” said a press release issued by British Embassy.
The visit will end with an opportunity for Mark and Simon to meet the many local and international delivery partners that the UK Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office work with in Nepal, including those that worked on the earthquake response.
This is Mark Lowcock’s fourth visit to Nepal, he was last here in 1993 as part of delegation accompanying the late Princess Diana. This is Simon McDonald’s first visit to Nepal.
Mark Lowcock is Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID). He was appointed on 9 June 2011. The Permanent Secretary is the most senior Civil Servant in the department.
Simon McDonald is the Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Officer (FCO). He was appointed in 2015. The Permanent Under-Secretary is Head of the Diplomatic Service. 2016 marks the bicentenary of Britain Nepal diplomatic relations.
DFID Nepal / UKaid is one of Nepal’s largest bilateral donors. The Department for International Development is supporting Nepal’s longer term development by strengthening Nepal’s disaster and climate resilience, building sustainable and economic growth and delivering immediate benefits to the most vulnerable, in particular youth, women and girls.