WASHINGTON–DC (Embassy of Armenia)–Chief Economic Adviser to the President of Armenia–Vahram Nercissiantz–and Armenian Ambassador to the US–Dr. Arman Kirakossian met with Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Paul V. Applegarth on Tuesday to present Armenia’s progress in targeting for MCC funding.
The MCC is a US government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world to administer funds from the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) designed to help poor countries spur the economic growth and attract the investment necessary to further development. Congress has appropriated $1 billion for the MCC for this fiscal year. Armenia was deemed eligible–along with 15 other countries–to apply for development aid.
Nercissiantz–who serves as the deputy chairperson of an ad-hoc coordinating group for MCC Armenian Program–said it had met with national and local Armenian NGO’s–experts–and other concerned parties–to solicit advice–develop public awareness–and to target the directions for developmental assistance under the terms of MCA.
Nercissiantz said that a draft proposal would be complete by the end of August for approval and formal submission to the MCC for consideration in September.
Applegarth stressed the need for proposals to address issues on strengthening democracy in Armenia–and asked about details of consultations with interested parties.
Nercissiantz noted that all groups involved–government agencies–NGOs–and experts–have agreed to target poverty reduction in Armenia’s rural areas by promoting economic growth.
The program foresees their greater integration in Armenia’s economy–and increasing economic opportunities for rural and small farming communities.
A significant by-product of such economic empowerment–Nercissiantz said–is a strong local self-governing system and civil society in Armenia.
The program proposal to the MCC will–therefore–likely include–but not be limited to–rehabilitation of rural roads and transport infrastructure; soil amelioration (drainage and desalination); improving irrigation system; and investing in the social infrastructure.
Nercissiantz stressed that Armenia’s Government will adhere to MCC’s principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political–economic–and social policies that promote economic growth.