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Nepal accepts US$659 million grant

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The Nepalese government has accepted $659 million in grants from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), officials said Friday.

The decision was taken at the April 13 Cabinet meeting, government spokesman Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said.

In addition to the $659 million grant, the Cabinet decided to accept a concessional loan of $150 million from the World Bank Group’s International Development Association.

Officials clarified that USAID’s latest grant is separate from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which was ratified by Nepal’s parliament earlier in the year and generated major political debate over its alleged security concerns and its anti-Chinese stance.

The U.S. grant to Nepal comes at a time when the country’s foreign exchange reserves have dwindled in the post-pandemic phase of the economy. The Nepalese government has urged Nepalese nationals living abroad to open dollar accounts in the country’s banks and make investments amid the economic crisis.

Nepal has also reduced its imports of expensive cars, gold and other luxury goods to keep its reserves dwindling.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)