March 26, 2006
Millennium Challenge Corporation Signs Five Year, $235 Million Compact with Armenia
Washington, D.C.— Today, in a signing ceremony at the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin room, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Ambassador John Danilovich and Armenia’s Minister of Finance and Economy, Vardan Khachatryan signed a $235.65 million Compact between MCC and the Republic of Armenia. MCC Chair Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officiated and witnessed the signing. She was joined by Armenia’s Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian.
Over one million Armenians, about 35 percent of the population, live in rural areas and are dependent on semi-subsistence agriculture. Farmers operate on small plots of land and are constrained by poor roads, inadequate irrigation and an under-developed market economy. To overcome these constraints, Armenia’s Millennium Challenge Compact aims to reduce rural poverty through a sustainable increase in the economic performance of the agricultural sector. The Compact consists of two investments: a Rural Road Rehabilitation Project and an Irrigated Agriculture Project. The program will directly impact 75% of the rural population and is expected to significantly increase the annual incomes of rural poor.
"I congratulate the people of Armenia for developing a results-focused and transformational program that will improve the lives of the poor,â€ said MCC CEO John Danilovich. "MCC assistance will be used to rehabilitate roads needed for Armenians living in rural areas to access social services such as healthcare and markets to sell their products. The Compact also includes funding for projects that will increase the productivity of farm households through improved water supply, higher yields, higher-value crops, and a more competitive agricultural sector. Armenia is a valued partner and we look forward to supporting their efforts to build a better life for all Armenians.â€
Ambassador Danilovich added, "Continued eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account funds depends on adherence to our indicators measuring performance in ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom. MCC will continue to monitor Armenia’s policy performance in these three categories throughout the life of the Compact.â€
Since its establishment in 2004, MCC has signed Compacts totaling more than $1.5 billion with eight nations: Madagascar, Honduras, Cape Verde, Nicaragua, Georgia, Benin, Vanuatu, and Armenia. MCC is also actively engaging with other eligible countries in Compact negotiations.
Launched by President Bush in 2004, the MCA is an innovative approach to development assistance that recognizes sound policies and good governance are critical to poverty reduction and economic growth in developing countries.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty.