Montenegro Reaches USAID Assistance Targets

For Immediate Release

Monday, February 4, 2013
Sasa Brajovic, U.S. Embassy Press Section
+382 67 28 35 42

Montenegro has achieved its assistance targets so it no longer needs U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) support.  This follows $243 million worth of assistance over the past 12 years.  Since USAID’s programs were launched in 2001, nearly two dozen of major development programs with thousands of sub-projects have been completed, impacting virtually every municipality in the country.

 "This is a significant achievement," said U.S. Ambassador Sue K. Brown.  "The Unites States is a committed partner of Montenegro and the breadth of our support shows that the U.S. strongly supports Montenegro on its path toward Euro-Atlantic integration.  USAID assistance has positively impacted the lives of many people in Montenegro and has helped strengthen Montenegro on the local and national levels."

Countries no longer receive USAID assistance when they achieve assistance targets and can continue on their path toward democracy and open markets without additional USAID support.  USAID’s current programs will conclude in June 2013, but other U.S. Embassy assistance focusing on democracy, defense reform, and the rule of law will continue.

In Montenegro, U.S. government assistance has helped assure macroeconomic stability; restructure the banking sector; privatize state owned companies; and strengthen market infrastructure.  U.S. assistance has also helped Montenegro adopt numerous legislative reforms that meet European Union (EU) requirements, and has improved the judiciary's transparency and reduced case backlogs.

"USAID assistance will continue through June 2013 to help Montenegro consolidate its democratic institutions, expand its economic base, support people with disabilities, and continue to move forward with reforms necessary for integration into the European Union," said USAID Mission Director Susan K. Fritz. 

The United States Government has provided more than $281 million in assistance to Montenegro since 2001. 

Montenegro is the second-largest recipient of U.S. assistance, per capita, in the world. (NOTE: Montenegro has received $281 million for a population of 632,000 people.  Only Israel has received more money per capita than Montenegro.)

USAID's efforts have helped local governments become more transparent and responsive to the Montenegrin citizenry, and more successful in attracting investments.  USAID has improved municipalities' business and environmental friendliness, and has increased the general public's and civil society's involvement in economic, democratic and healthcare reforms. 

In addition, thanks to USAID assistance, Montenegro's private sector has become stronger and more competitive, non-governmental organizations are more professional and reliable, and media are more independent and influential.

"We have partnered with Montenegrin citizens and their governmental institutions, to build prosperity and a better quality of life for all Montenegrins," said Ambassador Brown.  "Through our partnership, we have made significant progress by improving the transparency of Montenegro's institutions, fighting corruption, strengthening its private sector, upgrading water and wastewater infrastructure along coastal regions, and supporting people with disabilities."