Wednesday, April 17 2024 15:08
Marianna Mkrtchyan

USAID releases fact sheet following Joint EU-US-Armenia High Level  Meeting in Support of Armenia 

USAID releases fact sheet following Joint EU-US-Armenia High Level  Meeting in Support of Armenia 

ArmInfo.The following fact sheet was released in partnership with the U.S. Department of State,  the United States Agency for International Development, and the United States International Development Finance Corporation during the Joint EU-US-Armenia High Level Meeting in Support of Armenia.

Since 1992, the United States has invested approximately $3.3 billion  in Armenia to support democratic reforms, economic growth and  resilience, and to provide humanitarian assistance. In service to its  commitment to advancing a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous  Armenia for future generations, the United States has undertaken the  following steps with our Armenian partners:

U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Working with Congress, USAID will provide $33 million, to support the  people of Armenia by assisting those displaced following recent  hostilities; bolstering its energy sector; combating food insecurity;  promoting economic stability, digital governance and regional  integration; and defending human rights.

Assisting Displaced Persons

USAID will commit $8.5 million to support Armenians who have been  displaced following renewed hostilities in the region. USAID will  partner with national and local governments, along with international  Non-Governmental Organizations, to show the people of Armenia that  their democracy is delivering for them. This funding will provide  psychosocial support, address housing and shelter needs, and help the  Government of Armenia effectively communicate about these services so  that those who qualify can access them. Over the coming year, USAID  will support the Armenian government to broaden public awareness of  state support available to displaced persons.

Bolstering Armenia's Energy Sector

Working with Congress, USAID will provide $8.6 million to help secure  Armenia's Energy sector.  Through the Energy Security Armenia  activity, USAID will improve Armenia's energy sector planning; its  ability to access and integrate increased renewable energy  generation, supply and technologies; and improve energy efficiency.  This funding will also strengthen Armenia's ability to better plan,  manage and address critical cybersecurity vulnerabilities to the  country's energy infrastructure. It will also support and address key  vulnerabilities, ranging from enterprise-level IT security at energy  sector institutions to broader legal and regulatory support to help  establish a national cybersecurity framework.

Combating Food Insecurity

Working with Congress, USAID will provide $6 million to help  stabilize food security for Armenia writ large. This funding will  increase agricultural productivity of staple crops in a climate-smart  manner that is informed by innovations in digital agriculture and  knowledge management. It will increase food security by modernizing  Armenia's food system to increase production for domestic  consumption, and will reduce dependence on imports to stabilize  market systems. It will improve agriculture sector knowledge  management, increase agricultural production efficiency, food system  resilience and risk reduction. And USAID will support efforts to  increase grain production and storage capacity of Armenian farmers. 

Promoting Economic Stability, Digital Governance, and Regional  Integration

USAID will commit $7.4 million to promote economic stability, digital  governance, and regional integration. With this funding, USAID will  empower reformers and strengthen government capacity to promote  public administration reforms, enhance investment transparency,  expand trade diversity, attract high-quality investments, foster  economic connectedness, and address urgent societal challenges. 

Through USAID's Advancing Digital Democracy Initiative, USAID will  work with governments, technologists, civil society and other  partners to foster digital ecosystems in which technology is  developed, used, and governed to advance democracy and respect for  human rights. USAID will also fund a transport strategy supporting  regional transportation integration, like the Armenian government's  Crossroads of Peace Initiative. This strategy will evaluate how to  integrate Armenia into global trade and transportation routes in the  South Caucasus, helping reinvigorate trade between Armenia and its  neighbors, creating new jobs across the region, and realizing  regional economic benefits from interconnection.

Defending Human Rights

USAID will commit $2.5 million to address lingering human rights  concerns in Armenia. This funding will help support local efforts to  strengthen human rights in Armenia, including crimes involving  violence or threats of violence targeting LGBTQI+ persons,  discrimination, labor rights violations, and gender-based violence. 

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Democracy and the Rule of Law

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law  Enforcement continues to deliver for our Armenian partners and is  launching new programming this spring. Flagship projects include  institutionalizing anti-corruption reforms across the law enforcement  and justice sectors with a focus on service-oriented policing and  improving the public's timely access to justice. New programs will  further advance Armenia's anti-corruption agenda through  institutional reforms - like merit-based hiring and promotion  policies and technical skills development related to investigations,  evidence, public advocacy and civil asset forfeiture. INL is also  supporting a TSA courtesy assessment of Zvartnots International  Airport during the week of April 1.      

Economic Growth and Resilience

The United States supports efforts to deepen bilateral trade and  investment ties, to enhance Armenia's business climate, diversify the  country's trade relations, and address urgent societal challenges.

The Departments of State and Energy will continue to support Armenia  as it weighs replacement options for the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant  by continuing to fund feasibility studies, engage in scientific  exchanges, and explore financing options for U.S. nuclear technology.  We will also continue to explore upgrades and emergency response  center support and life extension support activities for the Armenian  Nuclear Power Plant.  

The Departments of Commerce and State are working to enhance  bilateral technology trade through deepened cooperation around export  controls for advanced technology and increased business-to-business  ties between U.S. and Armenian tech companies.

The United States will support IPR enforcement, procurement reform  and digital infrastructure and 5G governance. The United States  funded Armenia's attendance at the 2024 Prague Cyber Security  Conference to discuss vendor diversity, cloud security, submarine  cables, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence security.

The State Department will continue to support Armenia's national  cybersecurity strategy and development of a national Computer  Incident Response Team (CIRT) by helping establish a roadmap,  providing capacity building, engaging in CIRT-to-CIRT collaboration  and sponsoring ISAA's participation in the global CIRT community.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching a $900,000 program to  promote Armenia's food security and create a roadmap for diversifying  its trade partners and maximizing domestic production.

Humanitarian Assistance 

The U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and  Migration (PRM) continues to provide humanitarian assistance to  support vulnerable displaced persons in Armenia, including providing  an additional $3.3 million in humanitarian assistance for the UN  Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Organization for  Migration (IOM). With this new funding, the United States has  announced more than $7 million in humanitarian support for displaced  persons and refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh so far in fiscal year  2024. This funding brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance to  support the Nagorno- Karabakh response to nearly $31 million since  September 2020. This funding provides emergency shelter and non-food  items, health care services, including mental health support, and  protection assistance, including cash assistance. It also supports  delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance for affected children,  adolescents, and their families in areas such as health, nutrition,  child protection, education, social protection (including  humanitarian cash and vouchers) and water, sanitation and hygiene  support.

The United States has contributed $5 million to the World Bank's  Global Concessional Financing Facility (GCFF) trust fund for Armenia.

Regional Economic Integration

The U.S. State Department's Export Control and Related Border  Security (EXBS) program will deliver four mobile X-ray scanners in  the summer of 2024 to reduce transportation bottlenecks and  facilitate the flow of goods through the region. These mobile X-ray  scanners meet the urgent need to move goods through Armenia to  support local and regional trade.

The State Department will continue to provide training and equipment  to counter nuclear smuggling, including the replacement of  radiological scanners at Zvartnots International Airport with U.S.  technology.

The Transportation Security Agency is providing an assessment of the  implementation of Armenia's civil aviation security standards and  practices in support of Armenia's efforts to expand regional and  global aviation connectivity.

U.S. INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT FINANCE CORPORATION

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is  committed to supporting private-sector- led development in Armenia  and plans to send a senior-level representative this year to the  country to explore additional opportunities to support the Armenian  economy. DFC is in the final stages of committing a $50 million loan  focused on support for the rural and agricultural sector and  women-owned businesses, which it hopes to formally launch in the  coming months. DFC's current portfolio in Armenia includes support  for small businesses in the agriculture and trade sectors,  women-owned or -managed businesses, affordable mortgage lending, and  hospitality.  

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