Kathmandu: USAID officials said on Sunday that the US will continue to support Nepal in priority areas as aspired by and needed by the people of Nepal. Recalling the long-standing partnership between USAID and Nepal, they said that USAID activities in Nepal are directed toward helping Nepal achieve prosperity. “US assistance to Nepal has always been according to the needs of Nepali people,” said Michael Schiffer, USAID Assistant Administrator of Bureau for Asia, who was in Nepal visit. “US activities in Nepal are for helping Nepal to achieve prosperous, sustainable and democratic future they have chosen,” Schiffer said while interacting with media persons in Kathmandu.
Earlier on Sunday, Schiffer had launched Global Health Security Program. “The program is meant for improving health of every citizen in Nepal by strengthening country’s health system,” he announced. According to him, USAID will directly fund the Ministry of Health and Population for this program. Funding is expected to be up to $ 6.75 million over three years (2023-2026) “subject to availability of funds,” he said.
Global Health Security program aims to strengthen countries’ capacities to prevent, detect, and respond to disease threats before they turn a pandemic. Through Global Health Security in Nepal, USAID will fund the Ministry of Health and Population to strengthen the One Health platform and surveillance systems. USAID will also work through the World Health Organization (WHO) to support strengthening disease surveillance especially emerging infectious diseases; improving national laboratory systems to detect emerging infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and enhancing health emergency management response for infectious diseases.
Sepideh Keyvanshad, USAID Nepal Mission Director, said that USAID has substantially increased the amount of funding directly through the government in recent times. While admitting that Nepal is extremely vulnerable to climate change and it will be even more vulnerable in the days to come, she said that USAID already has programs to help Nepal address climate change issues and it is a top priority of the USAID.
During Schiffer’s visit to Nepal, the USAID also launched $24.5 Million Feed the Future Nepal Agricultural Inputs Activity. On Friday, USAID and the Government of Nepal jointly launched a new activity—Feed the Future Nepal USAID Agricultural Inputs. With up to $24.5 million in funding, this activity will work to streamline access to agricultural inputs and contribute to the overall agricultural development of the country.
The five-year activity will focus on four critical agricultural inputs—seed, fertilizer, irrigation, and agricultural mechanization—in 16 districts from the Sudurpaschim, Karnali, Lumbini, Bagmati, and Madhesh provinces.
“USAID is a long-standing partner for economic growth and prosperity and Nepal is a priority country for the Feed the Future initiative under the Global Food Security Strategy,” said USAID Assistant Administrator of the Bureau for Asia Michael Schiffer, while speaking at the launch event. “I am excited to be here today to launch this opportunity because this is not just about increasing productivity; it’s about empowering smallholder farmers, reducing poverty, and raising rural incomes. It’s about creating an inclusive growth model that benefits the Nepali people. It is about creating jobs, stimulating economic development, and making a meaningful difference in the lives of local communities.”
The activity is expected to benefit over 200,000 farmers and their families by improving their access to modern agricultural inputs and technology. This will lead to increased productivity and incomes, reducing poverty and improving food security in Nepal.