US Armenia Formalize Development Assistance Action Plan

YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Representatives of the US-Armenia Task Force on Economic Cooperation (USATF) signed an Action Plan on March 23–following their most recent meeting. Armenia’s Minister of Finance and Economy Vartan Khachatrian and US Ambassador John Evans formalized the document that highlights cooperation in development assistance between the US and Armenia.

"This Action Plan is our development roadmap," said Ambassador Evans at signing ceremony. "It helps us set clear goals and ensures that we are cooperating as governmen’s toward a bright future for the Armenian people."

The 30-point action plan includes means to improve fiscal administration–strengthen the banking sector–fight corruption–engage the business community–meet Armenia’s needs in the public service sector–and strengthen ongoing cooperation in the agricultural and humanitarian sectors. The document also acknowledges Armenia’s eligibility for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) and the need to register progress in MCA eligibility areas.

The signing was preceded by a series of working-level meetings on each of these items between officials of the US Embassy and USAID and various Government of Armenia ministries. USAID-Armenia Director Robin Phillips also participated in the event.

The US-Armenia Task Force on Economic Cooperation was established in January 2000 as a way to institutionalize government-to-government dialogue on development issues–promote further economic cooperation–and maximize the effectiveness of assistance programs implemented by the United States Government. Meetings are held twice a year (once in the United States and once in Armenia). The next USATF meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in May 2005 in Yerevan.

The United States Government has provided over 1.5 billion dollars of assistance to the Republic of Armenia over the past decade.

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