MCC renews calls for progress in democracy
Published: Saturday March 14, 2009
The board of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation this week reiterated its concerns about the status of democratic governance in Armenia, stating that it will not lift the hold it placed a year ago on one element of its five-year $236 million grant to Armenia. The grant is conditional on continued eligibility in areas that include democratic governance.
The corporation will continue to provide assistance for irrigation infrastructure, but it will not fund the rehabilitation of rural roads.
"The Board's decision today signals to the government that it has failed over several years to address concerns raised not only by MCC and other U.S. Government agencies, but the international community as well. It's now incumbent upon the government of Armenia to restore the Board's confidence to its commitment to democracy and good governance. MCC has given the government of Armenia every opportunity to make meaningful reforms and will continue its direct communication about its expectations moving forward," the acting CEO of the corporation said.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and Armenia's National Assembly have cooperated in preparing a series of actions intended to bolster Armenia's democratic governance by addressing the adverse effects of the events of March 1, 2008. Continued progress in implementing those actions will clearly benefit Armenia and its standing in the international community. The spring elections for Yerevan City Council provide another opportunity for Armenia to demonstrate progress.
The international community, with strong support from the United States and its agencies, including MCC, are actively engaged in both encouraging and assisting Armenia in the fulfillment of its commitments and the achievement of its goals. We applaud the efforts and are hopeful that renewed commitment by all parties will bring continued success.