USAID Marks 25 Years of Partnership in Armenia

USAID celebrated 25 years of partnership in Armenia at an official reception in Yerevan.
USAID Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser (right) is joined by Prime Minister of Armenia, Karen Karapetyan, USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Margot Ellis, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, and President of the American University of Armenia, Dr. Armen Ter Kiureghyan for a group photo at the official celebration of USAID's 25 years of partnership with Armenia.
Mkhitar Khachatryan, for USAID

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Yerevan, Armenia – Since establishing diplomatic relations 25 years ago, the United States and Armenia have developed a deep friendship and partnership.  On Thursday, October 12, the two countries celebrated one of the cornerstones of the U.S.-Armenian relationship: a quarter century of partnership between Armenia and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“It was 25 years ago that the first USAID staff arrived in Yerevan with the long-term goal of partnering with the Armenian people as they transitioned to a sovereign and independent nation,” U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills, Jr., said during a celebration event held at the American University of Armenia.

More than 300 partners and beneficiaries of USAID – government officials, leaders from the private sector, civil society members, and the international community -- joined Ambassador Mills, Jr., Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan, USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Margot Ellis, and USAID Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser to commemorate 25 years of USAID’s partnership with Armenia.

“As the first Armenia Desk officer at the U.S. State Department, the first diplomat in Washington focused day-to-day on the newly-independent Republic of Armenia, I could see, at least from a distance, how difficult it was during those dark years as the first USAID staff arrived,” Ambassador Mills noted. “That also means I can see Armenia today as only a knowledgeable outsider can, seeing the progress Armenia has made in developing its economy, democracy, media, and civil society.  Progress made because USAID, and the $1 billion in support it has provided, worked side-by-side with our many Armenian partners.”

During the event, USAID also welcomed Acting Assistant Administrator of USAID for Europe and Eurasia Margot Ellis, who was in Armenia to visit several partners and USAID-supported projects. 

Since the establishment of its office in Yerevan in 1992, USAID has provided more than $1 billion in assistance to the Armenian people through programs touching almost every sphere of Armenia’s economy and society.  Starting with immediate humanitarian aid following the disastrous earthquake of 1988 and the tough transition to independence, USAID’s partnership with Armenia has transformed over the last quarter century to a focus on longer-term reform efforts.  Through its work, USAID and its Armenian partners have developed improvements that continue to benefit the Armenian people.  The venue for the anniversary celebration, the American University of Armenia, is itself a testament of the enduring partnership, as it was supported by early USAID funding.

In her welcome remarks, USAID Armenia Mission Director Debbie Grieser thanked USAID’s local partners, both past and present, for their productive efforts. “Just as Armenia’s public and private institutions have developed, the USAID-Armenia partnership has evolved.  USAID programs are now largely implemented by local organizations and support Armenian-led initiatives,” she said, noting that it was a remarkable transition in just 25 years.

USAID currently implements more than 30 projects throughout all the provinces of Armenia, supporting cooperative efforts with the Armenian government, the private sector, civil society, local institutions, the Armenian diaspora, and other donors.  The projects aim to increase Armenia’s economic competitiveness, promote civic participation, expand access to quality healthcare and social services, and protect the country’s most vulnerable groups.

Last updated: January 29, 2019

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