KATHMANDU: USAID is providing up to USD 58.5 million to advance democratic progress in Nepal, subject to the availability of funds.
Issuing a news release on Tuesday, US Embassy in Kathmandu stated that $40.2 million of this announcement is part of the $659 million development objective agreement announced in 2022.
USAID director Samantha Power, alongside leaders from the Nepali government, civil society, and private sector, announced the amount.
“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. The United States will be a partner in this effort,” reads the press release.
According to the statement, 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 on Tuesday 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.
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:
The release also noted that 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.