Visiting Australian Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Pacific Island Affairs, Richard Marles, on Tuesday announced over 80 Australia Award scholarships to Nepal over the next four years and a training programme for officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, the details of the scholarship programme were not disclosed immediately.
In a statement issued before wrapping up his two-day visit to Nepal, Marles committed more Australian aid in the days to come.
He met Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Narayan Kaji Shrestha and other ministers and officials during his visit. In a meeting with Shrestha, Marles assured continued Australian support to Nepal, a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry said. “Australia has more than tripled its assistance to Nepal in the past five years,” said Marles. “In 2012-13, AusAID will invest $35 million in education, health, rural livelihood and governance reform to improve the quality of life of the Nepali people.”
On the political front, Marles said he hoped the political parties here would soon agree on a new roadmap for democracy.
“Australia looks forward to Nepal finalising a constitution and tackling the complex issues of federal restructuring,” he said. “Nepal has many friends and a growing community of Nepalis in Australia who want to see it achieve lasting peace and prosperity.”
source: The Kathmandu Post,8 August 2012