Millennium Challenges-Armenia Plans To Implement $70 Million Worth P

Millennium Challenges-Armenia Plans To Implement $70 Million Worth Projects Out Next

December 10, 2009

YEREVAN, December 10, /ARKA/. Ara Hovsepian, the executive director of
Millennium Challenges-Armenia (MCA), said MCA has planned to implement
$70 million worth projects next year on funds from the US-government
backed Millennium Challenges Corporation (MCC).

According to him, Millennium Challenges- Armenia has implemented this
year $40 million worth projects.

He said next year’s projects will encompass irrigation, agricultures
and construction sectors. In his words, the global financial and
economic crisis has not had any tangible financial impact on Millennium
Challenges-Armenia, because the funding for Armenia was approved five
years ago.

In March 2006, the Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a
five-year, $235.65 million Compact with the Government of Armenia
aimed at reducing rural poverty through a sustainable increase in
the economic performance of the agricultural sector.

Armenia plans to achieve this goal through a five-year program of
strategic investments in rural roads, irrigation infrastructure and
technical and financial assistance to improve the supply of water
and to support farmers and agribusinesses. The Program will directly
impact the rural population, and is expected to reduce the rural
poverty rate and boost annual incomes. The MCC Compact in Armenia
entered into force in September 2006, formally initiating the 5-year
timeline for project implementation.

The Compact has been restructured due to escalating global
construction costs and currency fluctuations. At the June 2009 MCC
Board Meeting, the decision was made not to resume funding for any
further road construction and rehabilitation under the $236 million
Compact due to concerns about the status of democratic governance
in Armenia. Approximately 25 km of pilot roads were completed prior
to this decision. To date, 150 km of MCC funded road designs are now
being funded by the World Bank.