US provides $659m to help Nepal graduate to middle-income country Business 360

US provides grant of $659m to help Nepal graduate to middle-income country

Ishwori Prasad Aryal, Joint Secretary and Head of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division (IECCD), Ministry of Finance and Sepideh Keyvanshad (centre left), USAID/Nepal Mission Director, sign and exchange a new Development Objective Agreement, on behalf of their respective governments at a signing ceremony held at the ministry, on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Photo courtesy: MoF Nepal/Twitter

Kathmandu: The Government of Nepal (GON) and the United States of America today signed a new Development Objective Agreement.

On behalf of the GON, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) representing the US signed the agreement.

This assistance agreement, which will span five years, outlines the broad development areas of US and Nepal cooperation and collaboration. The grant, amounting to $659 million (equivalent to Rs 79.71 billion) over the five-year period, will support Nepal’s goal of graduating to a middle-income country.

Partnering with the GON, civil society, and the private sector, US assistance will advance Nepal’s sustainable development through strengthened democratic governance, enterprise-driven economic growth and increased resilience for communities most at risk of natural disasters and climate change.

The amount of assistance will be recorded in the GON Red Book and transparently implemented through both on and off treasury modalities. USAID will develop projects under this assistance agreement in collaboration with line ministries and implemented them in accordance with GON rules and regulations.

Ishwori Prasad Aryal, Joint Secretary and Head of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division (IECCD), MOF and Sepideh Keyvanshad, USAID/Nepal Mission Director, signed and exchanged the agreement on behalf of their respective governments.

Delivering a short remark following the signing ceremony, Aryal expressed, “In 1951, after signing the Point Four programme, the United States became the first bilateral donor to Nepal. This began a 70 plus year relationship of trust, mutual respect, and commitment to the people of Nepal.” He further added that Nepal has greatly benefited from the financial and technical assistance extended by the United States to help drive Nepal’s socio-economic development. He expressed that the Assistance Agreement as a departure agreement for both governments due to the fact that, for the first time in this enduring partnership, US assistance will be fully reflected in GON’s Red Book.

Similarly, Keyvanshad noted, “Today we add a new chapter to our long-standing partnership with the Government of Nepal and the Nepali people. We look forward to continuing the US government’s long-term commitment to support activities that strengthen Nepal’s democracy, governance, and economic growth across the country.”

This year, the US government and the GON are celebrating 75 years of bilateral relationship. The Nepali government has expressed its sincere appreciation to the US government for its invariable support in socio-economic development and advancement of human resources in Nepal. Both governments acknowledge the partnership has seen many successes and look forward to continuing in the spirit of strong collaboration.

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