30 April 2006

612) Armenia among Largest Recipients of US Assistance

Armenia is one of the largest recipients of U.S. assistance on a per capita basis. Since 1992, the United States has provided more than 1.6 billion dollars of assistance to Armenia in support of the country's transition to democracy, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans stated in an interview with PanARMENIAN.Net. In his words, through this assistance, the United States government is cooperating with Armenia in pursuit of three major goals: strengthening democratic institutions, providing for a more stable and secure South Caucasus, and building the economies of all three countries of the region.

“In addition to our on-going programs, the United States has developed a program of assistance worth approximately seven million dollars to help Armenia in holding free and fair elections in 2007 and 2008. This comprehensive package of election-related assistance will provide support for the development of the national voter registry and the conduct of voter education campaigns,” he said. It will also include assistance for the development of voter education materials, training for various sectors of society including representatives of the judicial system and political party representatives, and exchange visits for media outlets, Evans said. “We believe it is vitally important for Armenia’s future that the upcoming elections be free, fair and transparent, and be perceived as such not only by the international community, but most importantly by the Armenian people themselves,” the head of the U.S. diplomatic mission underscored.

In addition, on March 27 the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a $235 million Compact with Armenia, the U.S. Ambassador reminded. “This assistance program will focus on rural road rehabilitation and improved irrigation, and will directly impact approximately 75% of the rural population, increasing their annual income by an estimated $36 million in 2010 and over $113 million in 2015. In order to remain eligible for this funding, Armenia must continue to demonstrate a commitment to ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom,” Ambassador Evans said.




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