Alice Albright, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Millennium Challenge Corporation/File
KATHMANDU: Alice Albright, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the United States project Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), is arriving in Kathmandu today.
This visit marks a significant milestone in the bilateral partnership between Nepal and the United States, as it coincides with the implementation of the MCC-Nepal Compact, which commenced on August 30, six years after the initial agreement between the United States and the Government of Nepal.
The US Embassy in Kathmandu confirmed CEO Alice Albright’s visit and her five-day stay in Nepal to commemorate the successful launch of the MCC-Nepal Compact.
During her visit, CEO Alice will engage in courtesy meetings with senior leaders of the Nepal government, highlighting MCC’s steadfast commitment as a reliable partner in addressing the challenges associated with implementation and ensuring that the benefits of the compact reach the Nepali people.
CEO Alice’s itinerary includes meetings with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, Foreign Minister NP Saud, Energy Minister Shakti Basnet, and other high-ranking government officials in Kathmandu.
These discussions will focus on addressing issues that have caused delays in the implementation of MCC-supported projects and finding solutions to the challenges ahead.
The MCC-Nepal Compact officially entered its five-year implementation phase following approval by the Parliament of Nepal two years after its initial signing.
However, complications related to the contract process and land acquisition have led to uncertainties in the implementation process.
One of the major obstacles currently faced is the construction of a transmission line, where the selected bidder has indicated that the project cost may exceed the initial estimates, leading to implementation difficulties.
Additionally, the selection of a contractor for the 315 km transmission line project, funded by MCC, has encountered issues due to high bids submitted by potential contractors.
CEO Alice’s visit aims to address these challenges and streamline the implementation of MCC-supported projects.
It is expected that discussions will revolve around resolving issues related to transmission lines and road upgrades, which have seen high bids from contractors, making the selection process complex.
This visit follows the earlier announcement of MCC Nepal Compact’s implementation, during which MCC Vice President Cameron S. Alford visited Kathmandu.