MCC Vice President Fatema Sumar.
KATHMANDU: The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has clarified that MCC remains committed to having open and transparent dialogue with the people of Nepal and sees this exchange as a positive step toward ratification of the MCC Nepal Compact.
This grant program will benefit nearly 23 million people by providing more reliable electricity and lowering the cost of transportation and energy, the statement signed by MCC Vice President Fatema Sumar has said.
In a response addressed to Finance Minister Janardhan Sharma, the MCC said, “Recognizing the immense value of the MCC Nepal Compact grant signed by the government of Nepal and MCC in 2017, MCC’s promise to help the people of Nepal has never wavered. We are dedicated to reducing poverty and fostering economic growth for all Nepalis.”
The government of Nepal had sent a letter to MCC seeking clarification about the suspicious points in the agreement.
The MCC response says the MCC Nepal Compact is not an agreement under the Indo-Pacific Strategy.
“MCC compacts are agreements between MCC and the partner government. The strong relationship between the United States and Nepal long pre-dates the Indo-Pacific Strategy,” the letter said.
The MCC, according to the response, was established in 2004 with a singular focus on poverty reduction through economic growth in countries that are committed to democratic values such as rule of law, investing in their people, and economic freedom.
“The MCC Nepal Compact is not an agreement under the Indo-Pacific Strategy, nor is it a part of any military strategy of the United States,” it added adding that there is no connection between the MCC Nepal Compact and any military alliance or defense strategy.
According to the response, all projects funded by the MCC Nepal Compact were selected by the Government of Nepal, in consultation with Nepal’s private sector and civil society, as projects that are important for Nepal’s own economic growth.
It added that the Constitution of Nepal prevails over the MCC Nepal Compact. MCC compacts with all MCC partner countries are international agreements governed by the principles of international law.
The MCC said for more than 70 years, the United States and Nepal have built a friendship based on our many shared values, including respect for the sovereignty of all nations.
“The MCC Nepal Compact is a continuation of our mutual friendship and underscores the government of Nepal’s commitment to democratic principles and building a better future for all Nepalis,” said MCC Vice President Fatema Sumar.
“In my previous visits to Nepal, I was overwhelmed by the request for, and positive support of, an MCC partnership — from business and community leaders to members from every political party. Unfortunately, since my last visit, there has also been an increase of false and misleading statements about MCC,” she said.