Kathmandu, Nepal, June 29, 2020: The United States of America (USA) Embassy in Kathmandu has made clear that availability of the funding under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is not open-ended.
Issuing a press statement on Monday, the US embassy in Kathmandu said- ‘accepting the MCC grant is Nepal’s choice, however, availability of the funding is not open-ended.’
The US embassy made clear not to wait Nepal for an indefinite period to take final decision on the 500 million grants just a day before the deadline set to endorse the MCC from the parliament. June 30, 2020, was set as deadline for the endorsement of the grant agreement from the parliament.
As the ruling head Nepal Communist Party (NCP) faced internal differences over the issue of MCC grant, Speaker Agni Sapkota had put off the meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) till July 1 with the motive to escape the deadline.
‘United States is aware that Nepal’s Parliament has not yet ratified the MCC Compact,’ states the statement further clarifying that the projects under the MCC grants cannot be expedited unless Nepal endorses the compact agreement through the parliament.
The statement has not made clear about the fate of the MCC after the set deadline to endorse from the parliament, but, hinted to wait for a time being. ‘Delaying ratification is delaying the benefits of more jobs and increased economic growth for nearly 23 million Nepalese, states the statement.
‘The Government of Nepal and MCC have worked together continuously since 2012 under multiple governments, representing all major political parties, to develop the compact program. This compact will build electric transmission infrastructure and perform road maintenance activities and directly benefit 23 million Nepalis. The projects funded by the compact are priorities identified by Nepal during the nearly three years of project design to benefit the people of Nepal, states the statement.
‘MCC is a committed partner having successfully partnered with nearly 30 countries worldwide on 37 grant agreements of several hundred million dollars, totaling $13 billion. These grants have helped lift millions of people from poverty by catalyzing investment and economic growth and have supported partner countries’ sovereignty. Every country eligible for a second grant has requested one. MCC’s transparency as a development partner is also recognized globally, and this year MCC was once again ranked as the top bilateral donor in the Aid Transparency Index,’ reads the statement issued by the US embassy in Kathmandu.
‘The United States and Nepal share a 73-year partnership working together in many sectors successfully and to the benefit of both countries. The Nepali-led projects funded by the MCC compact support poverty reduction through economic growth,’ states the statement.