Thursday, January 26, 2017

US provided $160 million in assistance to Nepal in 2016

The US government has provided $160 million in assistance in 2016 to improve health, education, environment, agriculture, earthquake reconstruction and governance in Nepal, according to a press release issued by the US Embassy in Kathmandu.
The statement also read that the approximately $133 million of these funds are managed by several US departments and agencies operating in Nepal, including the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US Departments of Defense, Agriculture, and State, and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) among others.
In addition, $27 million of these funds were provided through the US Department of Defense to enhance Nepal's disaster response and strengthen its ability to participate in United Nations Peacekeeping Operations globally, the press release stated.
Among the key US foreign assistance in Nepal in 2016 was earthquake reconstruction support. In support of Nepal's high priority earthquake reconstruction activities, the US Embassy confirmed that its 2016 assistance included $41 million for earthquake reconstruction. "The amount was above and beyond the $130 million in immediate post-earthquake assistance pledged and provided in 2015 for relief, recovery, reconstruction and preparedness efforts," it said. "The assistance will help to rebuild schools and hospitals and provide training and technical assistance for construction professionals and homeowners on earthquake-resistant homes." The funding will also be used to improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene conditions in the most earthquake-affected districts.
In addition, the US Government, through the Department of Defence, provided $18 million in 2016 to provide fixed-wing aircraft to the Nepal Army to assist with disaster response efforts, it added.
The US Government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) also provided $10 million in July of 2016 to evaluate projects for funding in the electricity transmission and road transport sectors. The final size of a next phase, multi-year assistance 'Compact' between MCC and the Government of Nepal, will be decided later this year.
Ninety-five per cent of US assistance in Nepal is awarded to international and local organisations through competitive processes and is regularly subject to financial and performance audits, the Embassy claimed, adding that MCC procurements are done through international competitive bidding with no preference to local or US firms.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the bilateral relationship between the United States and Nepal with events and programmes planned throughout the next twelve months in partnership with the Government of Nepal, civil society, and the private sector.

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