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Our Work

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USAID supports Private Sector Engagement through our work in North Macedonia
USAID supports Private Sector Engagement through our work in North Macedonia

North Macedonia has made significant strides since declaring independence in 1991, with established democratic institutions and transparent elections at all levels of government. The contests for parliament in December 2016 and at the municipal level in October 2017 brought an end to a particularly dark chapter characterized by corruption and strained relations with the United States. The current juncture, after resolving the decades-long name dispute with Greece, provides an important opportunity to consolidate past development assistance gains while exploring opportunities to work more closely with the citizens of North Macedonia on shared goals, including progress toward greater Euro-Atlantic integration. This is a historic moment for the country to consolidate progress, build a more resilient and self-reliant economy, and contribute to the stability of the western Balkan region. 

OUR WORK

ADVANCING ENTERPRISE-DRIVEN GROWTH

To build prosperity, USAID strengthens the competitiveness of North Macedonia’s micro, small, and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) through enhanced support services, improved access to finance and a more streamlined business environment. Activities include work on legal compliance issues, promoting public-private dialogue, and strengthening the advocacy and lobbying capacities of chambers of commerce. To improve access to finance, USAID assists with the development of new financial products for MSMEs and helps them prepare bankable proposals to increase their effective working capital and improve cash-flow. USAID is assisting inspection bodies and the inspection system through professional development of inspectors and implementation of e-governance software solutions to ensure transparent processes and provide a bulwark against corruption. 

USAID works to improve North Macedonia’s energy independence and security. To achieve this, USAID helps the Government of North Macedonia align national legislation to EU and Energy Community requirements and comply with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive. New legislation will provide an open and effective legal framework, while also streamlining the investment process for renewables.

ENHANCING CITIZEN-RESPONSIVE GOVERNANCE

North Macedonia has a robust civil society and USAID activities strengthen civil society organizations and their networks, improve civic engagement with the government, and increase the professionalism of independent media. USAID is also supporting initiatives that encourage and empower citizens from across the political spectrum to advocate for and participate in activities that produce tangible results in local communities. USAID supports the production of professional, fact-based, in-depth news reporting, that uses balanced, entertaining, non-partisan content to analyze and present pressing social problems. 

To strengthen commitment and build capacity in the executive branch, legislature, and elections, activities facilitate dialogue between government, civil society and the private sector in the identification and implementation of needed reforms. USAID funding supports the watchdog role of civil society, on democratic processes. USAID is also strengthening the capacity of parliament to draft legislation, perform oversight and representative functions, and engage with the executive branch, civil society, and constituencies. USAID helps the State Election Commission (SEC) improve electoral processes, install information technology, improve voter lists, and conduct education and outreach. USAID is also assisting the government to develop and implement good governance practices, through consensus, cooperation, and coordination within and between key ministries and between the legislative and executive branches. 

FOSTERING SOCIAL UNITY

USAID is working with national and local governments, all primary and secondary schools, students, teachers, parents and community leaders to create opportunities to foster better inter-ethnic relationships among the country’s youth. Activities build capacity to implement multicultural, integrated education among preschool and school teachers, inspectors from the State Educational Inspectorate, counselors from the Bureau for the Development of Education, and pedagogical students. USAID is enabling outreach to and sport activities for students, parents, and community members in ethnically-mixed municipalities, and uses media to highlight the important role that youth of different backgrounds can play when working together to tackle challenges in their communities. USAID is helping the Ministry of Education and Science revise the civic education curriculum, standardize ways to engage students in school and community life, and promote student involvement in decision-making in their schools and municipalities. USAID co-finances the renovation of participating schools that demonstrate commitment and progress in promoting ethnic integration. USAID is building the capacity of frontline workers from government and civil society to protect the human rights of migrants and refugees and facilitate their access to legal assistance, counseling, and asylum.

Last updated: August 12, 2019

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