The CEO of the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation, Dana J. Hyde, concluded a successful trip to Nepal last week to launch the country's partnership with MCC. The trip comes less than two months after MCC's Board of Directors selected Nepal as eligible to develop a compact—a large-scale grant designed to reduce poverty by tackling systemic barriers to economic growth.
Alongside Ambassador Peter W. Bodde, Hyde led a U.S. Government delegation that included Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Fatema Z. Sumar and USAID Mission Director Beth Dunford. Hyde met with Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala to discuss the compact development process and congratulate the country's leaders on the progress Nepal has made on adopting democratic principles. Hyde also met with senior Nepali government officials, including:
- Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey
- Minister of Energy Kumari Gyawali
- Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport Bimalendra Nidhi
- Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission Dr. Govind Raj Pokhrel
- Secretary of Finance Suman Prasad Sharma
On February 13, Hyde went on a tour of a hydroelectric dam on the Bhote Koshi River. Access to energy has been identified as a binding constraint limiting Nepal's economic growth.
Hyde met the development community to help ensure investments are coordinated to maximize impact. She also met with university students, journalists and representatives of the private sector and civil society to solicit feedback about the Nepali economy during the five-day visit.
“My time in Nepal over these past few days has been exceptionally productive,” Hyde said. “It has given me the chance to witness firsthand that Nepal is a committed partner, ready to develop a proposal for an investment from the Millennium Challenge Corporation.”
MCC’s Board of Directors selected Nepal three years ago to develop a threshold program, an MCC-funded investment program that supports policy reform. Because of the progress Nepal has made in adopting democratic principles and the opportunity to reduce poverty in the country, MCC's Board of Directors decided in December to make the country eligible to develop a compact.
Nepal would be the first South Asian country in MCC's 11-year history to have a compact, and Ms. Hyde's trip is a recognition of the robust partnership MCC and the Government of Nepal have built over the past three years.
For more information on the trip, contact MCC Public Affairs at 202-521-3880.