YPC Weekly Newsletter



On November 2 the international human rights organization “Freedom House” called
on the US authorities to withhold assistance under the Millennium Challenge
Account from countries which fail to meet reasonable standards of political
rights and civil liberties. The statement came in the view of the Millennium
Challenge Corporation Board of Directors meeting on November 8, when the governments
eligible to apply for assistance in fiscal year 2007 will be selected. In the
opinion of “Freedom House”, the funding should be refused to Armenia, Bhutan,
Egypt, Jordan, Maldives, Tunisia and Vietnam, as though these countries officially
pass the MCC criteria, they have low level of political rights and civil liberties
(scoring below 4 on “Freedom House” index). Meanwhile, the Executive Director
of “Freedom House” Jennifer Windsor said, “because democratic governance plays
such a key role in enabling broader social and economic development it is vital
– if the fund is to be truly effective – that only those governments that have
demonstrated commitment to democracy and human rights be eligible to receive
MCC funds”.

Among the reasons why Armenia should not be receive MCC funds, “Freedom House”
notes the following: “While new legislation to improve media independence
was passed, the Armenian media climate has not improved and violent attacks
on journalists continue.”