Administrator Power’s Trip to Moldova

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For Immediate Release

Thursday, November 18, 2021
Office of Press Relations
press@usaid.gov

The below is attributable to Spokesperson Rebecca Chalif:‎

Administrator Samantha Power traveled to Moldova on November 16-18 to advance the United States’ partnership with the Moldovan people, and participate in engagements demonstrating the United States’ commitment to supporting the country’s ambitious democratic reform agenda. The Administrator met with government leaders to discuss Moldova’s democratic progress and efforts to enhance government transparency, increase economic opportunity, root out corruption, and improve the lives of Moldovan citizens. The Administrator also launched a new program to enhance the competitiveness of key Moldovan industries through digital and technological innovation, and met with journalists, civil society and community groups, the business community, and local government officials.

On November 16, Administrator Power met with Moldovan civil society leaders to discuss the role their organizations are playing in pushing for reforms, their key governance priorities, and how civil society is engaging the new government to encourage progress and transparency as national leaders pursue their reform agenda. During the meeting, the Administrator emphasized USAID’s commitment to supporting Moldavan civil society, which has played an important role in the country’s recent democratic progress.

On November 17, Administrator Power helped launch a newly-renovated MediaCor — a UKAID, Sweden, and USAID-supported center of excellence with industry-standard filming and post-production areas that will enable journalists and those in Moldova’s growing creative industries to produce high-quality content. At MediaCor, Administrator Power also met with a number of investigative journalists whose reporting and media organizations have broken numerous stories about corruption in Moldova. The Administrator and the journalists discussed the challenges independent media face in Moldova, as well as how the journalists are seeking to expand their readership and financial viability.

In separate meetings, the Administrator then met with Moldovan President Maia Sandu and Prime Minister Natalia Gavrilita. In these meetings they discussed the Moldovan government’s reform agenda and USAID’s on-going support to Moldovan efforts to address corruption, enhance transparency, improve the delivery of government services, and strengthen the connection between government institutions and the citizens they serve. They also discussed USAID’s decades-long partnership with Moldovan businesses to boost competitiveness, create jobs, and open new international markets for Moldovan goods. The Administrator expressed USAID’s belief that digital technologies hold tremendous potential to generate new economic opportunities, especially for young Moldovans, and can be utilized in the fight against corruption. Throughout both meetings, Administrator Power conveyed USAID’s commitment to support the people of Moldova striving to build a democratic, prosperous future for their country.

The Administrator held a town hall meeting with USAID and U.S. Embassy staff, as well as a meeting with USAID’s Moldovan Foreign Service Nationals to hear firsthand about their experiences, challenges, and ideas for USAID programming in Moldova.

Later, Administrator Power visited Chisinau’s Digital Park and joined Prime Minister Gavrilita to launch the Future Technologies Activity, the next generation of USAID’s support for digital innovation in Moldova. The new $32.8 million program will enhance the competitiveness of growing Moldovan industries like agriculture, wine, and apparel, helping business owners and entrepreneurs develop new digital technologies that will enhance their work and fuel additional growth.

Following the launch of the Future Technologies Activity, Administrator Power met with local wine experts to discuss USAID’s support for the expansion of Moldova’s wine sector, which is a critical employer and revenue-generator for Moldova’s economy. The group highlighted the far-reaching impact of USAID investments in the wine sector and its assistance in connecting Moldovan producers to global export markets. These ongoing efforts have strengthened an industry that has become world-renowned, while contributing 1.3 percent to Moldova’s GDP in 2020 and reaching over 63 international markets.

On November 18, Administrator Power visited Straseni, a town in central Moldova, to discuss USAID’s efforts to improve the delivery of government services and promote citizen engagement in decision-making at the local level. During her visit, she met with Straseni Mayor Valentina Casian and visited one of the USAID-supported Citizen Information and Services Centers, a “one-stop-shop” created with support from USAID and the Slovak government to help citizens more easily and efficiently navigate available government services. The Administrator also visited the village of Sireti and met with local business representatives, citizens, and Sireti’s mayor Leonid Boaghi to learn more about USAID’s LEADER approach in Moldova. The LEADER activity is a joint program funded by USAID and Polish Aid to encourage rural development and inter-community cooperation by empowering community members, local businesses, civil society leaders, and government officials to work together to address local challenges by co-designing projects funded through small grants.

The Administrator concluded her visit to Moldova by sitting down with Jurnal TV, a leading Moldovan outlet, for an interview about her visit and the United States’ commitment to support the people of Moldova in their efforts to build a democratic, prosperous future.

Last updated: November 18, 2021

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