More information about Nepal is available on the Nepal Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The United States recognized Nepal in 1947, and the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1948. Bilateral relations are friendly, and U.S. policy objectives center on helping Nepal build a peaceful, prosperous, resilient, and democratic society. Primary U.S. objectives in Nepal include: strengthening good governance, democratic values, and security and stability; supporting inclusive, equitable economic growth and a clean, resilient energy future; and helping Nepal become more self-reliant, independent, and resilient as it confronts global challenges.
The United States enjoys a strong and positive relationship with Nepal. Years of diplomacy and development engagement have advanced U.S. interests as Nepal evolved into a more peaceful, stable democracy with significant economic potential. Since the end of its 10-year civil war in 2006 Nepal has successfully transitioned into a constitutional federal republic grounded in the constitution promulgated in 2015.
U.S. Assistance to Nepal
Officials from Nepal and the United States meet regularly at the highest diplomatic levels to discuss a variety of issues including: assistance provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the largest bilateral donor in Nepal; Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) coordination and implementation; trade (including technical assistance); security and defense cooperation; and humanitarian assistance and disaster response.
To improve Nepal’s economic situation, the MCC signed, in 2017, a $500 million Compact with Nepal to expand Nepal’s electricity transmission infrastructure and improve its road maintenance regime. The Nepali government has committed another $130 million for a program total of $630 million. The Compact will build 300 kilometers (km) of high-voltage electric transmission lines, three substations, perform enhanced road maintenance on the strategic roads network highways, and provide technical assistance to the national electric utility, the new electricity regulator, and the Department of Roads.
Over the past five years, the U.S. Department of State and USAID have committed $643 million in assistance. Through this assistance, USAID is advancing the U.S.-Nepal partnership to reinforce democratic systems, foster broad-based economic growth, strengthen health and education systems, and improve the management of natural resources. USAID’s work in Nepal supports these objectives by promoting transparency and inclusive governance; supporting smart investment policies, regulations and practices; and advancing the sustainable management of natural resources. USAID’s efforts support Nepal’s continued development into a self-reliant and resilient partner with the aim of bolstering the security and economic prosperity of both the United States and the region. USAID remains the leading international donor agency in health and education in Nepal, creating a healthier population through strengthening Nepal Government’s health systems and improving access to and quality of primary education for students nationwide.
U.S. assistance, primarily implemented through USAID, to support reconstruction in Nepal after the devastating 2015 earthquake, is near completion. The United States has provided over $190 million for earthquake relief, recovery, and reconstruction. With USAID support, the Government of Nepal has disbursed $1.3 billion to 749,000 households. Seven years after the earthquake, 90% of eligible homeowners have started or completed the reconstruction of their homes. Although significant recovery needs remain, the United States, to date, has built 37 schools and hospitals; has directly helped rebuild over 48,000 earthquake safe homes; trained 23,000 construction professionals in earthquake resilient construction; and developed policies, systems, and controls to ensure that $8.6 billion in reconstruction results in safer structures for all. In addition to rebuilding a safer Nepal, we empowered the National Reconstruction Authority to develop and implement a strategic communications plan to rapidly notify earthquake-affected populations in the event of another disaster. USAID also partners with Nepal to implement its new disaster management law and helped established the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Authority.
The United States remains committed to building Nepal’s resilience in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis and emerging global food security crisis. As of June 2022, the U.S. has provided 8.3 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Nepal in response to the pandemic. As part of the USG commitment to a more resilient Nepal, USAID partners with local governments and the private sector to strengthen agricultural and economic systems to address food insecurity, especially in light of the global fallout from the Ukraine conflict with Russia. We also continue to support Nepal as it introduces federalism by working with newly elected local governments to implement their own disaster management plans—thus helping local authorities meet commitments made to their constituencies. These efforts will help Nepal improve access to and delivery of quality public services for the country’s underserved communities.
The United States has also committed security assistance to Nepal, working with the Nepali Army to strengthen their peacekeeping and disaster response capabilities.
Bilateral Economic Relations
The United States and Nepal have signed a trade and investment framework agreement, providing a forum for bilateral talks to enhance trade and investment, discuss specific trade issues, and promote more comprehensive trade agreements between the two countries. In 2016, Nepal became one of few countries in the world with a single-country trade preference program with the United States. Principal U.S. exports to Nepal include some agricultural products, aircraft parts, optical and medical instruments and machinery. In 2021, U.S. exports also included significant amounts of vaccines, face masks, and also coal. U.S. imports from Nepal include carpets, felt products, dog food, handicrafts, jewelry and various apparels. Total bilateral trade is in the range of $300 million annually, making the U.S. among the top half dozen trade partners of Nepal. With $52.4 million worth of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) stock in Nepal as of July 2020 (3.1 percent of total FDI), the U.S. is among the top 10 foreign investors in Nepal. The U.S. Embassy aims to support Nepal’s economic development by providing technical assistance (TA) where possible, including through specialized USG agencies such as the USPTO and USTDA. The Embassy is also supporting the U.S. Development Finance Corporation (DFC) increase its portfolio of investments in Nepal.
Nepal’s Membership in International Organizations
Nepal and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.
Principal embassy officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.
Nepal maintains an embassy in the United States at 2730 34th Pl NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-667-4550).
More information about Nepal is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Nepal Page
USAID Nepal Page
History of U.S. Relations With Nepal
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Library of Congress Country Studies
Millennium Challenge Corporation: Nepal