Friday, March 23, 2007

Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Praises Armenian Reforms Before House Panel

Yerevan, March 21, Armenpress: The Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) said ambassador John Danilovich, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, this week told members of a key House foreign aid panel that Armenia has made a number of reforms that are both "positive and constructive," and expressed that elections in Armenia be "conducted correctly."

Danilovich appeared before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs to discuss MCC's funding needs for Fiscal Year 2008.

Last week, Randall L. Tobias, U.S. Director of Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator, told Committee Members that MCC funding "is expecting to disperse 60 million dollars" in FY 2008 alone and that "together with foreign aid, Armenia will receive 98 million dollars, or a 34 percent increase."

The Administration has requested $35 million in economic assistance to Armenia for FY 2008, a reduction of more than 50 percent over the FY 2007 approved funding level of approximately $75 million.

Last year, the United States and Armenia took a major step forward with the signing of the Millennium Challenge Compact - a five-year $235.65 million agreement intended to reduce Armenia's rural poverty and increase agricultural productivity.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who took part in the signing ceremony, called the event a "promising" step in the U.S.-Armenia partnership and a "testament to the hard work and dedication of the Armenian people and their elected government."

Established in 2004, MCC is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom and investments in people. MCC is responsible for the stewardship of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), which receives funds appropriated by Congress every year.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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