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6th May 2021, Skopje – Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, and USAID Country Representative, Erik Janowsky, signed Development Partnership Grant Agreement between the Republic of North Macedonia and the United States of America, US Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes also attending the signing ceremony. It is a five-year Development Partnership Grant Agreement under which the Republic of North Macedonia will be provided a grant in the amount of $ 8.2 million to achieve three development objectives: improved economic competitiveness, increased youth contributions to society and reduced corruption.

Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, pointed out that USA is a long-standing partner supporting the development of our country. He underlined that we share a joint vision for our country, i.e. economically developed, stable and inclusive multi-ethnic democracy, the future of which is firmly embedded in the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

– With the Agreement being signed today, USAID will provide support for improving economic competitiveness, a development objective which is to promote growth in productivity, reduce barriers to expansion into Euro-Atlantic markets, and advance energy security. It will also contribute to greater inclusion of the youth in the society, a development objective aimed at fostering economic opportunities for the youth and enhanced social values among youth, as well as reduced corruption, a development objective geared towards enhanced accountability of the public sector, as well as the citizens, Besimi said, adding that the objectives correspond to both the strategies and the commitment of the Government, thus creating a synergy to faster achieve the targets.

– Corruption undermines governance, it also sabotages economic competitiveness and subverts youth opportunities for the future. This is why half of USAID’s support through this Agreement is focused on countering corruption. With this Agreement, our relationship with you, as the newest member of NATO, is no longer one of donor and recipient. We now have a redefined bilateral relationship; we have become true Allies. We welcome the country’s progress as an Ally contributing to the NATO alliance, and we look forward to seeing North Macedonia one day become a donor as well, said US Ambassador Kate Marie Byrnes.

– Through USAID, the U.S. government has provided more than $829 million of development assistance to this country since 1993. The Agreement we are signing today lays out the terms for our support to you over the next five years, with up to $8.2 million in the first year. But let’s be realistic: the true purpose of development assistance to a country is to end the need for its existence. Through this new Agreement we seek to transition our relationship to a more strategic partnership: one that advances country ownership of development. We are proud to stand with you and co-invest in your development priorities, together with the private sector, the donors and the civil society, USAID Country Representative, Erik Janowsky, said.

To the end of achieving these objectives, US Government will also cooperate with the central and the local government authorities, as well as directly with the stakeholders, i.e. the businessmen and the youth.

As for the improved economic competitiveness, the US Government will partner with the private sector to stimulate the economic competitiveness and seek innovative solutions to foster regional integration.

Activities are envisaged to support the energy sector in North Macedonia to the end of improving the security, reliability and resilience of its energy system through legal and market-oriented reform and access to Western investment and technology. The activity will assist the Government to increase investment in domestic energy generation and reduce energy dependence by providing technical assistance to conduct feasibility studies.

Increased youth contributions to society will be encouraged through the activities aimed at supporting economic opportunities attractive to youth; strengthening skill-sets for jobs and progressive careers; and promoting self-reliance and civic values among youth, such as leadership, responsibility, lawfulness, and striving for accomplishment.

Activities are also planned to support government institutions, the private sector, the civil society, and the citizens to fight corruption. The activity will promote accountability for public institutions’ performance and will constructively engage government institutions to improve the effectiveness and transparency in public spending. What needs to be taken into consideration is the activities with the judiciary and the government on implementing the code of ethics and improving the openness of national institutions, agencies and local governments as part of the country’s Strategy for Transparency.

Since 1993, through USAID, the U.S. Government has invested more than $829 million in development assistance to the Republic of North Macedonia since 1993. US Government provides significant support to the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia in implementing activities geared towards economic growth, stability and strengthening the democratic practice and institutions.

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