Thu, 19 May 2022

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 6 (ANI): Just a few weeks after the Nepali parliament ratified the USD 500 million Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant from the US, the two countries on Thursday signed another agreement bringing USD 659 million to the Himalayan nation in assistance, in a move that is expected to irk China.

The grant for the next five-year period will support Nepal's goal of graduating to a middle-income country, Kathmandu Post reported, adding that Nepal plans to graduate from the Least Developed Country category by December 2026.

As per the agreement, the development assistance will be provided through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) which will develop projects under this assistance agreement in collaboration with line Ministries and implement them in accordance with the government rules and regulations, the report said.

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

The move is also expected to create a further divide, in the already distancing relationship between Beijing and Kathmandu, with China making its disappointment with the MCC agreement public a few weeks ago.

"Beijing is glad to see international assistance to Nepal but it should come without any political strings attached. We oppose coercive diplomacy and an agenda based on selfish interests at the expense of the sovereignty of other countries," Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in Beijing on February 18.

The latest agreement was signed between Ishwori Prasad Aryal, Joint Secretary and Head of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division at Nepal's Finance Ministry, and Sepideh Keyvanshad, USAID/Nepal Mission Director, on behalf of their respective governments.

"In 1951, after signing the Point Four program, 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," Aryal said in a short remark following the signing ceremony.

"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," Keyvanshad said. (ANI)

More Beijing News

Access More

Sign up for Beijing News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!