Los Angeles, CA — U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Director Larry Walther today signed two technical assistance grant agreements totaling over $600,000 at an event at the City Club on Bunker Hill in Los Angeles. The grants are designed to facilitate investment and economic development opportunities in El Salvador’s Northern Zone and will be implemented by El Salvador’s National Development Commission (NDC) and the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES). At the event, NDC Commissioner Coordinator Sandra de Barraza signed the grant agreement on behalf of NDC and, earlier in the week, FUSADES President Antonio Cabrales signed the grant agreement with FUSADES in El Salvador. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO John Danilovich, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Margarita Escobar, Los Angeles Salvadoran Consul General Héctor Hugo Herrera and Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Executive Vice President John Simon officiated at the event.
The grants, which build upon and complement MCC’s $461 million compact with El Salvador, seek to improve highways, connecting roads, electricity, water, communications and business support services. Specifically, the $345,000 grant with NDC will create a development plan and assist entrepreneurs with investment opportunities in El Salvador’s Northern Zone. The $285,000 grant with FUSADES aims to develop a trade facilitation portal and organize investment roundtables, particularly with members of the Salvadoran Diaspora, to facilitate trade and investment in the Northern Zone.
"These grants reflect the coordination in the U.S. Government to promote El Salvador’s development,â€ said Director Walther. "We are excited about the potential we see for El Salvador’s future and, working together, we are pleased to be a partner in this endeavor.â€
"I congratulate all those involved in making the signing of today’s grant a realityâ€ said Ambassador Danilovich. "Building on CAFTA and the MCC El Salvador Compact, today’s agreement will change the lives of the poor in the Northern Zone for the betterâ€ Danilovich added.
The grant signings also reflect the high degree of coordination among U.S. Government programs in El Salvador and fostered discussions with the Salvadoran community in the Los Angeles area on U.S. private sector participation in El Salvador’s development.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency designed to work with developing countries, 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. MCC has signed Millennium Challenge Compacts with 16 countries totaling $5.5 billion. For more information, please visit www.mcc.gov.