USAID Releases Report on "Twenty Years of U.S. Economic Assistance to Eastern Europe and Eurasia"

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 23, 2013
USAID Press Office

Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a report on “Twenty Years of U.S. Economic Assistance to Eastern Europe and Eurasia,” at a discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution.  The program included a panel discussion with U.S. Department of State Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions Ambassador William Taylor, Booz Allen Hamilton Senior Vice President Donald L. Pressley, and former USAID Mission Director Craig Buck. Brookings Senior Fellow George Ingram moderated the session.

USAID Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia Paige Alexander introduced the report, which assesses the record of USAID assistance for economic transformation to the region and focuses particularly on lessons learned.  Ms. Alexander said, “The United States, through USAID, played a major role in helping Europe become whole, free, and at peace.  Following the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, communist regimes collapsed throughout central and Eastern Europe, and we provided over $20 billion of economic assistance that was critical to the economic and political transformation of this region.  This report documents that effort and provides lessons learned from the process.”

USAID’s Bureau for Europe and Eurasia initiated this review of economic assistance in the region to make a contribution to development literature based on the cumulative experience of practitioners, to acknowledge the extraordinary progress to date – and contributions of partner countries and donors, as well as engage and stimulate dialogue among development professionals for use in potential future programs.

Mr. Ingram noted “What USAID did that was unprecedented was to engage thousands of Americans from all walks of life, some as volunteers, some as consultants, in contributing to the transition process: financial experts (from private finance and state and federal regulatory agencies), businessmen and entrepreneurs, farmers, doctors and nurses, lawyers and judges, academic administrators and educators, members and staff of state legislatures, mayors and public administrators, experts in energy and public utilities.”

The report, “The Enterprise Funds in Europe and Eurasia: Successes and Lessons Learned,” is also available online.