19:26 GMT +320 February 2019
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    Global development program awards Armenia $237-mln grant

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    YEREVAN, December 21 (RIA Novosti, Gamlet Matevosyan) - The board of the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account Corporation has approved a $236.65-million grant for Armenia, a spokesman for the Armenian National Committee of America said Wednesday.

    "The grant is designed to reduce poverty in Armenia by improving the efficiency of the country's agriculture," the Armenian representative said. The two-part program will rebuild the country's rural roads and develop its irrigation system, with allocations of $67 million and $146 million, respectively. About $22 million has been designated to manage and monitor the program. The Millennium Challenge Account will monitor Armenian policies throughout the five-year term of the grant, maintaining the right to halt or cancel the program if Armenia fails to honor its commitments.

    The program is expected to cover 75% of the rural sector in the hope that the annual revenue of Armenia's rural population will reach $36 million by 2010 and $113 million by 2015.

    John Danilovich, president of the Millennium Challenge Account, which was established in 2004 by the U.S. Department of State to help develop economies and reduce poverty around the globe, sent a letter of congratulations to Armenian President Robert Kocharyan on the conclusion of negotiations. However, he expressed concern over violations at a referendum on amendments to the Armenian Constitution November 27.

    Armenia applied for the grant in March 2005 along with 16 other countries.

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