The country was excluded from the list of nations eligible receive financial aid from the U.S. government. Meanwhile, Colombia, Zambia and Indonesia were selected. Aid to Nicaragua was also suspended.
According to a recently released report by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the board of directors of the organization selected Colombia, Indonesia and Zambia as countries that are newly eligible this year to gain access to the U.S.’s Millennium Account financial assistance program, while they ignored Bolivia’s request for aid.
The board also voted that Jordan, Malawi, Moldova, the Philippines and the Republic of Senegal should be allowed to continue in the program. With respect to the case of Nicaragua, the board voted to suspend the 175 million dollar aid packet due to actions taken by the Nicaraguan government which go against the criteria for eligibility in the program.
During the MCC board meeting, it was also decided to not renew Bolivia, East Timor and the Ukraine’s eligibility to receive financial assistance from the program. With this, Bolivia lost the opportunity to receive some 600 million dollars that would have been used to for road construction to open up and connect the northern parts of the country.
The Millennium Account is a U.S. government financial assistance program that gives aid to those countries which show improvements in their efforts in against poverty.
In July of 2008, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, which manages the account, suspended the technical analysis of Bolivia’s proposed plans to gain access to the program’s resources. This decision came about because of the political situation which existed at the time in Bolivia and the differences between the two governments.
The country’s president, Evo Morales, said before and also after the rise of Barack Obama to the American presidency that he hopes to renew and repair the deteriorated relations with the U.S. However, as an international agency from Bolivia reported, these hopes have not lightened the tone of his criticisms against Washington, which contrasted with the more conciliatory attitude of his foreign secretary, David Choquehuanca.
In January, during President Morales’ annual report, Kris Urs, the highest-ranking diplomat from the U.S. embassy in La Paz, left the meeting in protest of the president's new attacks. "I'm very upset; these unfounded and false accusations are intolerable. A few days ago, [Morales] said he hoped to improve relations with the United States, but then continues his accusations. It is regrettable that he continues using my country as a linchpin in his domestic policies,” said Urs to reporters while leaving the congress in the middle of the speech.
Now that the list of countries with access to the Millennium Account has been announced, these countries can begin the process of requesting funds.
Since its inception in 2004, the Millennium Account has approved funds upwards of 6.3 billion dollars for 18 partnered countries.
The director of the institution, John Danilovich, offered his congratulations to the countries eligible to participate in this program, and added that these nations will have to work on reducing poverty through sustainable economic solutions.
To gain access to these resources, the performance of each country will be evaluated based on the criteria of political and economic freedom, the fight against corruption and respect for civil liberties.
About this publication
|Editor||Carlos Orías B.|
|Director||Claudia Benavente P.|
La Razón is a daily newspaper published in La Paz, Bolivia. The newspaper began publication on 1 March 1990.