Nepalis hope Biden’s America to be ‘easier’ regarding MCC negotiation, other issues

File: Joe Biden. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kathmandu, November 9

Although the United States government’s Nepal policy will not significantly change under Joe Biden’s administration after January next year, Nepali analysts hope the new government will be easier than Donald Trump’s in various bilateral negotiations.

As Nepal’s ruling party is hoping to amend some provisions of the Millennium Challenge Corporation grant agreement, under which Nepal will get USD 500 million for its hydropower and transportation development, Biden’s administration will be more flexible than Trump’s, views Shankar Sharma, a former Nepali ambassador to the US.

Economist Sharma hopes Biden will appoint new officials in the MCC board, who can be ready to address Nepal’s concerns more flexibly. Nonetheless, the US government will still try to implement the controversial deal as soon as possible, according to him.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration will be more liberal than Trump in the US assistance to the United Nations agencies and other global financiers such as the World Bank, and Nepal can take some benefits, views Sharma.

On the other hand, Biden has vowed to rejoin the Paris Agreement and it may open door to cooperation between the US and Nepal in terms of climate change and other environmental issues, hopes environmentalist Prabhu Budhathoki.

For Kul Chandra Gautam, a former assistant secretary-general in the UN, many Nepali NGOs were deprived of the US assistance for their projects in family planning, maternal health, and safe abortion sectors in the past four years. “In Biden’s term, that assistance will resume,” he views.

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