YEREVAN – The long-term goal of the U.S. Government is to transition its relationship with Armenia from one of aid to one of trade, USAID Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser said in her op-ed.
“USAID is proud of its partnership with Armenia and of its evolution over the past 25 years. We are committed to building on our successes in working towards a more engaged, prosperous, and well governed Armenian society,” Deborah Grieser said, adding that it’s a great honor for her to lead the USAID Mission in Armenia.
In her op-ed, she presented an overview of the work of USAID in Armenia.
“Since 1992, USAID has partnered with the Government of Armenia and its citizens to address a variety of challenges. Over 25 years, USAID assistance and USAID’s partnership with Armenia has evolved to respond to Armenia’s changing needs in its transition to a modern democratic society and a free-market economy. USAID has provided over $1 billion USD to improve the lives of the Armenian people, supporting their efforts to strengthen democratic, economic, and social governance,” wrote Greiser.
Following Armenia’s devastating earthquake in 1988, USAID contributed to an international response to provide food, shelter, medicine and fuel to those in need. Upon Armenia’s independence in 1992, the USAID Mission in Armenia was established, and the USAID-Armenia partnership formally began with programs providing humanitarian assistance.
Greiser wrote how as Armenian institutions developed, the USAID-Armenia partnership has also evolved. “USAID programs are now largely implemented by local organizations and support Armenian-led initiatives. USAID works directly with the Armenian Government, Armenian organizations and private sector, and coordinates closely with other international donors and organizations to address remaining development challenges,” said Greiser in her piece.
“Together we promote economic growth through rural development in agri-business and tourism, and provide support for civil aviation, energy independence, and information technology. We promote democracy and improved governance through local governance reform, anti-corruption efforts, and support for civil society, independent media, and the protection of human rights. Together we promote child welfare reform, an inclusive education system, and work to reduce the burden of tuberculosis and maternal and child mortality,” wrote Gresier.
She highlights that USAID’s partnership with the Government of Armenia, its citizens, international and local partners has yielded impressive results.
She also described USAID’s legacy in Armenia by listing the accomplishments that have resulted through USAID’s partnership with Armenia.
Some of these results included the establishment of a competitive private sector, the transformation of tax regulations and administration of the tax code, the strengthening of rural economies and increase of jobs, the establishment of civil societies, and the launching of the American University of Armenia among several other achievements.
Greiser concluded by proclaiming her commitment to building on the successes of USAID in working towards a more engaged, prosperous, and well governed Armenian society.