Washington, DC — The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) announced the successful completion of the five-year compact with Armenia. The compact is reducing rural poverty through strategic investments in Armenia’s irrigation infrastructure and agricultural sector.
The MCC-Armenia compact represents the largest grant investment in the country’s irrigation infrastructure in more than 30 years, totalling $177 million. The program has benefitted over 45,000 farmers and will enable local water associations to maintain these resources on a sustainable basis well beyond the term of the MCC compact. Overall, nearly one-third of Armenia’s farming households, comprising 427,000 rural residents in approximately 350 communities, are expected to benefit from MCC’s compact investments.
Patrick Fine, MCC’s Vice President for Compact Operations, attended the official closeout event in Armenia and stated, “The Armenia-MCC partnership is reducing rural poverty and spurring sustainable economic growth. While we conclude Armenia’s MCC compact today, the progress we’ve made must be sustained. A self-sufficient, thriving agriculture sector will fuel economic growth in Armenia today and for generations to come.”
By increasing the supply of irrigated water and providing intensive farmer training, the compact’s Irrigated Agriculture Project will help farmers move away from lower-value crops to higher-value crops, such as apricots and tomatoes. The land under cultivation with these higher-value crops is expected to increase by 21 percent. In 20 years, this is expected to raise farmers’ annual agricultural income by 150 percent from a baseline of only $310.
MCC is committed to partnering with countries that promote good governance, economic freedom and investments in their citizens. This commitment was highlighted when MCC placed a hold on funding for the Armenia rural roads project due to post-election events in March 2008 that were inconsistent with MCC’s principles promoting democratic governance.
MCC’s compact investments in Armenia have laid the foundation for systematic and lasting change. The compact is addressing one of Armenia’s most binding constraints to economic growth, and is putting farmers on a path to a brighter, more prosperous future. A more productive and efficient agricultural sector in Armenia will increase food security, catalyze economic growth, and continue to reduce poverty on a sustainable basis in the future.
For more information on the MCC compact in Armenia, please visit https://www.mcc.gov/pages/countries/program/armenia-compact.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004 with strong bipartisan support, MCC is changing the conversation on how best to deliver smart U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on good policies, country ownership and results.