This press release was initially posted by the U.S. embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal.
KATHMANDU, Nepal, May 25, 2018 – A delegation from the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) led by Jonathan Brooks, Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America, traveled to Nepal to meet with Prime Minister K.P. Oli and senior government officials to continue progress toward launch of the $500 million USD MCC Compact with Nepal.
During the visit, DVP Brooks also met with Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Minister of Finance; Mr. Barshaman Pun, Minister of Energy, Water Resources, and Irrigation; Mr. Raghubir Mahaseth, Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport; and officials from the Department of Roads.
“Important progress continues on the MCC Nepal Compact, which was designed to increase economic growth and private investment,” MCC DVP Brooks said. “Through this compact, we are working to increase reliable electricity, reduce transportations costs and spur new opportunities to improve the lives of Nepalis.”
The MCC Nepal Compact was developed in close partnership with the Government of Nepal to strengthen the country’s energy sector and control transportation costs in order to increase economic growth and private investment. The compact was signed last September and is expected to formally launch or enter into force late next year. The EIF date officially starts the five year clock for implementing the compact. MCC compacts come with strict requirements on time and budget. Compacts must be implemented within five years from the entry into force date, and there is no possibility of receiving extra funding.
Additionally, the Nepal Council of Ministers recently approved the MCA-Nepal formation order, allowing MCC to establish the entity that will implement the compact, the Millennium Challenge Account-Nepal (MCA-N). Over the coming months, the MCA-N will start the hiring process for a number of staff positions at the MCA-N. More information will be available on the MCA-N website.
DVP Brooks also discussed important conditions precedent required prior to entry-into-force including ratification of the compact by the Nepali Parliament and completion of an agreement between the governments of Nepal and India for operation of the proposed cross-border electric transmission line between those two countries.
Under MCC’s Nepal Compact, The Electricity Transmission Project includes the construction of about 300 km of high voltage power lines — equivalent to one-third the length of Nepal — the addition of a second cross-border transmission line with India, allowing Nepal to export surplus electricity during the wet season and import power during the dry season, and activities to improve sector governance. The project will increase the power carrying capacity almost fivefold from today’s generation capacity.
The Road Maintenance Project will address the problem of poorly maintained roads, which contribute to high transport costs. The project includes investments to improve road maintenance for the movement of goods and people in the country. Once MCC develops the new road maintenance regime, up to 300km of Nepal’s road network will be rehabilitated. MCC’s Nepal Compact is expected to benefit approximately 23 million people.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to low-income countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.