February 8: 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 in the presence of representatives of the Government of Nepal, civil society and private sector on Tuesday.
According to the US Embassy in Kathmandu, the amount of $ 20.2 million was a 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 to its people. The US would collaborate with Nepal in these areas, the US embassy said in a statement.
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, added the statement.
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 on Tuesday 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 general 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 initiative is built 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. -- RSS