Oskanian And Rice to Sign $235 Million Contract

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–The United States will formalize later this month the release of $235.5 million in additional economic assistance to Armenia over the next five years under President George W. Bush’s Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program.

Armenia’s MCA compact–already agreed on by the two governmen’s–will be signed in Washington on March 27.

In a statement released on Tuesday–the Armenian Assembly of America said the signing ceremony will be attended by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian.

The agreement will come nearly two years after Armenia was included on the list of 16 developing nations that are eligible for the plan designed to spur political and economic reforms around the world. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)–a US government agency handling it–approved the Armenian government’s MCA application late last year.

Most of the MCA assistance–$146 million–will be spent on rebuilding and expanding Armenia’s dilapidated irrigation networks. Another $67 million will go to pay for capital repairs on about 1,000 kilometers of rural roads that have fallen into disrepair since the Soviet collapse.

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