The United States on Wednesday announced a $255 million program it says will support emerging democracies.
As part of the effort, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation is providing a loan of up to $100 million to Siddhartha Bank to facilitate loans to small and medium businesses in Nepal.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Samantha Power announced the funding on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
USAID is providing $23 million for projects in Malawi, Zambia, Nepal and Ecuador, which the agency says will go toward stabilizing democracy, promoting job growth and mobilizing investment.
Another project in Tanzania is aimed at developing a digital portal to cut down on graft and corruption in public procurement.
The initiative also includes $110 million from companies and charitable organizations for projects such as developing battery storage systems in Malawi, electrification projects in Zambia, boosting food security in Malawi and enhancing cybersecurity in Moldova.
'Taken together, every safer birth, every more transparent government institution, helps give people greater confidence that their government works for them and can actually meet their needs,' Blinken said. 'And all of that comes together in building support and building the power of democracies that are actually delivering concrete results.'
Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse.