Kathmandu: Administrator Samantha Power, alongside leaders from the Nepali government, civil society, and private sector, announced that USAID will provide up to $58.5 million to advance democratic progress in Nepal, subject to the availability of funds. $40.2 million of this announcement is part of the $659 million development objective agreement announced in 2022.
Following transparent and peaceful elections in 2022, Nepal has an opportunity to strengthen federalism, advance the inclusion of women and marginalized communities, empower its young people, and demonstrate that democracy can deliver for its citizens, according to the press release issued by the US embassy in Kathmandu on Tuesday. “The United States will be a partner in this effort.”
USAID’s investments will help Nepal cement its democratic gains and usher in greater prosperity and resilience for the Nepali people by strengthening public financial management, independent civil society and media, democratic processes and institutions, rule of law, and private sector development. USAID will also continue to help Nepal combat human trafficking.
Strengthening Inclusive Democracy: The investments announced today include up to $20 million to strengthen inclusive democracy and prosperity in Nepal by supporting provincial and local governments to deliver public services in a more fiscally transparent and accountable manner.
Supporting Civil Society and Media: The investments also include up to $18.5 million to support independent civil society organizations and media led by and for women, youth, and marginalized communities to advance community needs, fundamental freedoms, and accountability. USAID will work with these civil society organizations as they build their skills, credibility, and techniques for engaging with the government and public effectively, says the statement. USAID will also partner with the media to support efforts to improve public access to credible information and more diverse narratives that will enhance social trust in the media.
Bolstering Local Elections, Rule of Law and Countering Human Trafficking: USAID will also work closely with and support local Nepali organizations and government institutions to strengthen rule of law, further support free and fair elections, and counter human trafficking.
These new investments build on more than 60 years of USAID partnerships with the government and people of Nepal, the private sector, and others to support Nepal’s goals and aspirations. “USAID’s approach to partnership is rooted in the assumption that Nepalis know best how to strengthen their own democracy and that only through respectful and mutual cooperation can we help Nepal prosper,” says the press release. “USAID looks forward to working in partnership with relevant Nepali government institutions to align our assistance with government priorities, including those in Nepal’s recently released common minimum program.”