The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has enhanced its support to advance democratic progress in Nepal.
USAID's administrator Samantha Power who is on a two-day official visit to Nepal announced to provide USAID assistance up to $ 58.5 million to advance Nepal's democratic progress, subject to availability of funds.
The announcement was made amid the presence of leaders of the Nepal government, civil society and private sector today.
According to the US Embassy in Kathmandu, the amount of $ 20.2 million was part of $659 million development objective agreement announced in 2022.
Following transparent and peaceful election this year, Nepal has an opportunity to strengthen federalism, advance the inclusion of women and marginalized communities, empower youths and demonstrate that democracy can deliver for its people. The US would collaborate with Nepal in the areas, the Embassy said.
The USAID investment would further help strengthen public financial management, independent civil society and media, democratic processes and institutions, rule of law and private sector, thereby consolidating its democratic achievements and inviting further wider prosperity and resilience.
USAID would also continue its assistance to Nepal in its bid to fight against human trafficking.
In order to deliver service in a more accountable and transparent manner from economic perspectives, the investment announced today includes up to $20 million to support provincial and local governments towards strengthening inclusive democracy and prosperity.
Likewise, assistance up to $ 18.5 million is included in the package to support the independent CSOs led by and for women, youth and marginalized community people to advance community needs, fundamental freedoms and accountability.
USAID would work with the CSOs to develop their skills, credibility and techniques required to engage effectively with the government and the public.
The international development agency has said that it would also collaborate with media to support efforts to improve public access to credible information and diverse narratives. That will enhance social trust on media.
The USAID has also shared that it would work to strengthen rule of law and legal regime to fight against human trafficking as well as to further enable free and fair elections.
These new initiatives build on more than 60-years of USAID partnership with the Nepal government and the people, private sector and others to support goals and aspirations of Nepal.
It is shared that the USAID is ready to work in collaboration with the concerned Nepal government agencies by aligning the aid with the government priorities, including recently-released common minimum programmes.
Meanwhile, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power also met with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Dr Bimala Rai Poudyal.
In a meeting held at the ministry on Tuesday, they discussed on diverse matters related to the Nepal-US mutual interests, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
Agendas including execution of the US assistance Millennium Challenge Corporation, climate change and assistance to be provided to Nepal after graduation from the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) status were discussed in the meeting.
On the occasion, Foreign Minister Poudyal had extended thanks to the US government for its assistance to Nepal while administrator Power pledged to increase support to Nepal on behalf of the US government in coming days.
Administrator Power who arrived in Nepal on her two-day official visit assumed office as USAID's 19th administrator on 3 May 2021.
She has been leading the world's leading international development agency that has over 10,000 employees worldwide.
Power had worked as the 28th US Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2013 to 2017. From 2009 to 2013, Power served the National Security Council as a special assistant of the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights.
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