Today, U.S. Ambassador Peter W. Bodde signed a memorandum with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction (MoPR) acknowledging a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) contribution to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund (NPTF).
During the current life of the NPTF, USAID will support the peace process as a contributor to the Fund and as a participant in the Technical Cooperation Pool for Capacity Development (TC Pool). The U.S. Government is providing $500,000 to the NPTF to support conflict-affected communities, transitional justice, future elections, public infrastructure reconstruction, and other peace commitments. As part of the TC Pool, USAID will also hire a Gender Equality and Social Inclusion Advisor. The Advisor will serve to strengthen the ongoing work within the Ministry and Peace Fund Secretariat gender units and address gender and inclusion within NPTF programs. USAID’s initial commitment is $550,000 to the TC Pool and $500,000 to the NPTF, for a total contribution to the MoPR of $1,050,000.
Speaking at the ceremony, U.S. Ambassador Bodde remarked, “The U.S. Government’s partnership with the Government of Nepal in this effort further demonstrates our commitment to helping the people of Nepal realize the benefits of peace and the promise of prosperity.” He further stated: “We recognize the Ministry’s and the Peace Fund Secretariat’s work to implement the commitments of the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord through the Fund’s programming.”
USAID’s support to the Fund, in partnership with other international donors, also represents its commitment to donor coordination and harmonization of assistance for aid effectiveness.
Nepal is the first and only country to lead a joint donor-host government trust fund. Since its inception in 2007, the NPTF has funded Government of Nepal institutions to implement Comprehensive Peace Accord programs such as support to conflict-affected people, elections, cantonment management, and infrastructure reconstruction. MOPR, mandated to implement the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord co-chairs the NPTF with the Ministry of Finance. To date, the Government of Nepal has allocated $100 million and donors $50 million to the NPTF, which ends in January 2016.
In addition to its support to NPTF, USAID works to encourage robust citizen participation at the national and local level. At the national level, USAID supports government and political systems by helping key institutions such as the Election Commission, the former Constituent Assembly, and political parties to become more democratic, inclusive, and effective. At the local level, USAID helps communities to participate effectively in development decisions which impact them, and fosters linkages between citizens and their Village Development Committees and District Development Committees, as well as other local government offices. USAID programs also strengthen government and non-governmental organization services for one of Nepal’s most vulnerable populations—human trafficking survivors and those at high-risk for trafficking.