USA to increase financial aid to Armenia
The United States of America will increase financial aid to Armenia, said US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills.
How much aid is coming?
Armenia is to receive approximately $26 million as part of the aid package in 2019. This is $20 million more than was initially planned. Armenia already received an extra $14 million in US financing this year.
What is the aid for?
Part of the funding will go towards programmes that help grow civil society and independent media. Another part is slated for expanding trade and fostering business links between American and Armenian companies. This includes assistance for Armenia’s trending IT sector, as well as carrying out energy related reforms.
US aid in the past years
The US has been consistent in offering financial aid for programmes that promoted democracy in Armenia since its post-Soviet independence. As of 2006, some aid also came from the Millenium Challenge Corporation, launched by the US State Department.
Armenia received investments of around $177 million as part of the programme. In fact, the Millenium Challenge foresaw a total of $235 million in aid for Armenia.
The programme concluded earlier than was planned. The board of directors, headed by the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, decided to end the US’ financial assistance to Armenia due to a risk of corruption, as well as the tragic events that followed the Armenian presidential elections in 2008 which saw the deaths of many citizens.
The Armenian government and lobby groups in the US brought up the question of financial aid following the 2018 peaceful revolution in the country. The Millennium Challenge Corporation refused assistance, citing non-eligibility according to their criteria.
Even though Armenia won’t be receiving financial aid from the Millennium Challenge Corporation, it is now clear that the country is about to get money for select projects directly from the US’ budget.