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US aid to Nepal for peace and development

By Super

Kathmandu, Aug 29: The US government has agreed to provide US 32.8 million dollars under grant agreements as part of a total US development assistance package for Nepal of US 45 million dollars in 2006.

US Ambassador to Nepal James F Moriarty and USAID/Nepal Mission Director Donald B Clark signed the agreements on behalf of the US government and Madhav Prasad Ghimire, joint secretary at the Ministry of Finance signed the agreements on behalf of Nepal government.

The visiting US congressional delegation led by Jim Kolbe, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs, which funds USAID and US Global HIV/AIDS initiative, was present at the ceremony.

According to US embassy, out of the grant, US 10,602,699 dollars is for mitigating conflict and supporting peace, US 5,789,532 dollars is for strengthening governance and protecting human rights.

Likewise, US 700,000 dollars is for promoting anti-corruption reforms and strengthening the justice sector, US 9,120,555 dollars is for strengthening government of Nepal's capacity to deliver health and family planning services, and US 6,675,000 dollars is for reducing transmission of HIV/AIDS and preventing other infectious diseases.

US Senator Kolbe has said that the Maoists should not be included in the interim government unless they are disarmed.

''It is impossible to have democracy, peace and stability if one side continues to have arms,'' Kolbe added.

''In this vein, we support Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's position that Maoists must lay down their weapons before joining an interim government.''



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