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Archives for Europe and Eurasia

Deputy Administrator Steinberg Highlights U.S.-Georgian Partnership In Health

By Jonathan Hale, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Europe and Eurasia

Donald Steinberg, gives closing remarks at the Georgian Health Care 2020 Conference

USAID Deputy Administrator, Donald Steinberg, gives closing remarks at the Georgian Health Care 2020 Conference. He is accompanied by George Tsereteli, Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, (far left) and Andrew Urushadze, Minister of Labor, Health and Social Affairs of Georgia (left). Photo Credit. Patricia Adams/USAID.

Last week I attended the “Georgian Health Care 2020: MEDEA 2011” conference, organized by the Embassy of Georgia to the United States and the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs, with support of the First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs. The two day conference brought together American and Georgian medical professionals to solicit ideas for the next ten years of health reform in Georgia.

I was impressed by Georgia’s commitment to reform and I believe Georgians have proven to be bold and creative thinkers. I hope this energy will carry the reform effort to success.

In closing remarks, USAID Deputy Administrator Steinberg highlighted that USAID has been working in the health sector in Georgia for 12 years and has worked in successful partnership with the Government of Georgia. USAID assisted Georgia to establish the Health Insurance Mediation Service, to construct or renovate 8 hospitals by providing a 50% loan guarantee to private banks, and to train hundreds of health professionals every year.

I learned more about the bold health reform initiative the Government of Georgia is undertaking which relies on market mechanisms to increase the population’s access to health care; improve the quality of care; and increase the efficiency of service provision. Since the Rose Revolution, the Government of Georgia’s health expenditures have increased more than five-fold from $48 million in 2003 to $250 million in 2009 and the Government of Georgia has extended health insurance to over 1.2 million beneficiaries.

Still, nearly 2/3 of the population remains without health insurance and more than 70% of total health expenditures are “out of pocket.” Additionally, there remain concerns about the quality of care and other issues. So there’s lots of work still to do.

Many of the participants were Georgian doctors practicing in the United States and they were asked to come back and provide short-term training and support.  They have learned valuable lessons and have experiences to share.  Diaspora groups, like these Georgian doctors, have an important role to play in improving customs in their home countries.  In the weeks ahead, we will be taking a close look at how we might be able to work together for the good of countries like Georgia.

USAID Shows Youth the Benefits of Conserving Energy

Saving energy is key to any country’s solid economic future and to its future as an independent country.  Teaching this generation of youth to take ownership over energy-saving best practices proves paramount in ensuring Ukraine’s sustainable energy future. Ukraine’s dependence on imports from Russia for most of its energy supply makes energy conservation especially important. In the country, where 70 percent of heat from the apartment buildings escapes through windows, walls doors and bad heating systems, USAID believes that that every Ukrainian can contribute to saving heat by taking just small steps toward reducing their energy footprint.

USAID’s Municipal Heating Reform project, together with the Ministry of Housing and Communal Services and Ukrainian celebrities, announced the Energy Efficiency Season to make energy efficiency fashionable and inspire Ukrainian youth to demonstrate responsible attitudes toward energy consumption.

Throughout the course of the Energy Efficiency Season campaign, four gala-concerts and TV programs (all incorporating the word “teplo” or “heat” in Ukrainian): Teplo Fashion, Teplo Feng Shui, Teplo City and Teplo Ukraine will feature tips on how to get warm and keep warm with simple and low-cost energy saving measures. The events will promote heating efficiency through fashion events and give celebrities a platform from which they can share ideas on energy conservation drawing from their personal experience.

Ukrainian singer Alyosha, who represented Ukraine at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, explains why she decided to join USAID’s Energy Efficiency Season campaign. Photo Credit: USAID Municipal Heating Project

Sarah Wines, the USAID Acting Mission Director, observed, “If each of us begins to make small changes in our lives, we will all contribute to saving energy. And if each of us tells our friends, our parents, our brothers and sisters that they too can make a difference by just changing their habits, we will help this country achieve energy independence and make it a leader in the world and in Europe on how to live in a new era of lower energy consumption and clean energy.”]

According to Olga Romanyuk, the Deputy Minister of Housing and Communal Services, decreasing Ukraine’s dependency on imported fuel is a key task for the Ukrainian Government.  She said that this can only be achieved by implementing energy saving technologies and educating the youth on how to conserve energy.

U.S. and Russia Further Cooperation In The Fight Against Polio

While in Moscow last summer, I visited the M.P. Chumakov Institute of Poliomyelitis and saw the history of collaboration between the U.S. and Russia on polio research.  I saw opportunity to advance our cooperation to address new challenges and work with Russian experts to eradicate polio for good enabled by the Obama Administration ‘reset’ policy and the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission.

Today, USAID Administrator Raj Shah joined Dr. Nils Daulaire, Director of the Office of Global Health Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Dr. Veronika Skvortsova, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Development for the Russian Federation, in signing a Protocol of Intent that will deepen cooperation between American and Russian health experts to eradicate polio around the globe.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Betty King, HHS Director of Global Health Affairs Nils Daulaire,USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Russian Deputy Minister of Health Veronika Skvortsova

It’s fitting that Administrator Shah signed this Protocol while visiting Geneva to serve on the World Health Organization’s Commission on Information and Accountability for Women and Children’s Health.  Polio is a highly infectious disease that mainly affects children under the age of five.  One in 200 infections leads to paralysis and among those paralyzed, 5-10% die.  Polio is easily preventable with available vaccines, as evidenced by the success of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to reduce polio by 99% worldwide since the Initiative started in 1988.   However, recent years have seen outbreaks in several countries.

It pains me to think of the children that unnecessarily suffer from a disease that can be prevented for 14 cents.  It’s incredible that we’re so close to ridding the world of this disease once and for all. I believe that, working with our international partners, we can finally live in a polio-free world.

I am excited by the impact that we can have on lives around the world working together as global partners.

USAID Health Project Supports 8,000 Births in Armenia

I have visited a number of health facilities during site visits, and  I feel great pride when I hear of the positive impact of our assistance in improving health in rural communities, particularly mothers and children.  The stories about rural nurses like Alina Hovhannisyan are especially touching.  Alina is a community nurse in Haykavan village in Shirak province and a graduate of USAID/Armenia’s Safe Motherhood Clinical Skills training.  The knowledge and skills she gained from the course enabled her to help a village woman deliver her baby when she was in premature labor,  The nearest maternity hospital was 12 km away and there was no time to wait for the ambulance.  There are many other children, like little Mariam born that day, that our programs and trainings help to promote a healthier future for Armenia.

Community nurse in Aigeshat conducts infant check-up at the village health post, renovated through USAID’s Project NOVA. Photo Credit: USAID/Armenia

Quality and accessible health care has been USAID’s long-standing priority in Armenia.  In 2004, the Mission initiated Project NOVA to assist the Armenian Ministry of Health in their efforts to improve the quality of reproductive health, family planning, and maternal and child health services in the country.  Through this project USAID assistance helped extend free primary health care (PHC) and maternity services by equipping and renovating two-thirds of Armenia’s neediest rural health facilities, as well as training 25% of Armenia’s PHC physicians.  New systems of health care financing and monitoring were established such as the Open Enrollment system, whereby people choose their own health care provider (85%-90% of resident population are now enrolled).  Quality Assurance and family medicine practices were introduced.  The primary cause of maternal death in Armenia – post-partum hemorrhage rates – was reduced by over 60% from 5.4% in 2005 to 1.7% in participating facilities.

In January 2010, building on the accomplishments of this five year project, USAID launched the one-year Maternal and Child Health Improvement Project (NOVA 2) to follow on former activities in five southern regions and to expand assistance to five additional northern regions of Stepanavan, Akhuryan, Ijevan, Martuni, and Hrazdan.

NOVA 2 reached over 500,000 people in these ten regions and benefited 270 primary and secondary level facilities, supporting over 8,000 births.

Five Schools of Motherhood were added to the existing twelve set up by predecessor Project NOVA.  These schools provide pregnant women with free counseling, physical and psychological instruction on childbirth, information on the delivery process, and a wealth of information on the importance of a healthy lifestyle during and after pregnancy.  Future fathers are also encouraged to visit.  Indicative of the Schools’ popularity and high demand, the number of women who attended the classes in project-supported regions increased from 12.8% to 59.7% in less than a year.

The project, which marked its completion this month, was implemented by a consortium of international organizations headed by the Research Triangle Institute (RTI), in partnership with IntraHealth International and Save the Children, and in close collaboration with the Republic of Armenia Ministry of Health, regional health departments, healthcare facilities, Yerevan State Medical University, Erebuni State Medical College and select local NGOs.

USAID-Supported Program Returns $15 million to US Treasury

Today, I hosted a ceremony in Washington with the Board of Directors of the Albanian-American Enterprise Fund (AAEF) to celebrate the return of $15 million to American taxpayers. The Albanian-American Enterprise Fund was established in 1995 with a $30 million grant from USAID to assist the economic transformation of Albania after the fall of the Soviet Union. The AAEF promoted private sector development by investing in a wide range of enterprises, providing management advice, and training entrepreneurs. The Fund has leveraged over $750 million in growing the Albania economy, creating over 3,500 jobs, and establishing a legacy foundation, the Albanian American Development Foundation, endowed with over $200 million to continue supporting sustainable economic development, entrepreneurial leadership and cultural tourism in Albania.

At the ceremony, the Chairman of the AAEF, Michael D. Granoff, presented a symbolic check for $15 million to USAID for the funds returned to the Treasury of the United States. This money represents half of the initial USAID investment that produced such outstanding results.

Speaking at the ceremony, I recognized the results, the return of funds to the Treasury, the efforts of the Board and staff of AAEF, the work of my E&E colleagues who made this possible, and welcomed the participation of our distinguished guests. Ambassador Galanxhi, Coordinator Rosenblum, Rep. Elliot Engel, Chairman Granoff, and SDAA Roberta Mahoney all added their comments to this welcome occasion.

Paige Alexander Leads Bureau for Europe and Eurasia

By: Paige Alexander, Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia

I am honored to have been nominated by President Obama to lead the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia as their Assistant Administrator.  Following confirmation by the U.S. Senate on December 22nd, I was sworn in on Monday, January 3rd.

Paige Alexander (left) sworn in as Assistant Administrator by Deborah Kennedy-Iraheta, OHR Director (right), as Roberta Mahoney, E&E’s Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator (center), looks on. Photo credit: USAID/Bethany Egan

Let me briefly introduce myself.  I’m returning to USAID where I previously served for eight years (1993-2001) in a number of positions in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia, including as Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator.  From 2001-2010, I was Senior Vice President at IREX, an international nonprofit development organization that supports educators, journalists and community leaders in over 100 countries.  I have also been Associate Director of Project Liberty at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a consultant to the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and the Open Society Institute in Prague.  I also served on the boards of the Basic Education Coalition and the Project on Middle East Democracy.  In short, over 20 years working in the international development field, I have had the perspective of being on the ground as a foundation grant maker, working with an academic institution to implement programs, and administering projects through a non-profit organization. Returning to USAID with all these perspectives I feel is invaluable.

I am excited to lead E&E in this time of challenge and change.  In the Europe and Eurasia region, we face resetting our relationship with Russia, dealing with post-conflict problems, and addressing development issues from the Atlantic to the Bering Straits and from the Artic to the Mediterranean, all in a demanding budget environment.  E&E has great people both here in Washington and in the field, and I’m confident that, working together, we will remain development leaders and good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.

I look forward to working with the dedicated staff in the Bureau for Europe and Eurasia and across USAID to fulfill the President’s, the Secretary’s, and the Administrator’s shared goal of modernizing and strengthening the Agency, elevating development, achieving our core objectives in E&E, and forging new partnerships with emerging and established donors to confront global development challenges.

Europe and Eurasia Celebrates Progress on Disability Rights and Addresses Continuing Challenges

Nver Mirzoyan, an 8-year old child in Hobartsi, Armenia, suffers from congenital cerebral palsy and was able to attend school for only a few months a year.  During winter he stopped going entirely because his mother—the sole breadwinner of the family—was busy earning money through odd jobs and Nver could not reach the school in his home-made wheelchair.  Through a USAID-funded program, Stepanavan ADP and their partner DPO, “Full Life” intervened on Nver’s behalf, and obtained the agreement of the Hobartsi school Principal to accept Nver in his school beginning in September 2009.  The school was also targeted for modifications to improve accessibility as part of the USAID program.  A ramp was constructed for the school which made the school entrance accessible for Nver.  “Full Life” is working with his school and providing them with an inclusive education toolkit, helping the staff and children to better integrate Nver and children like him into the school community.

Armenian researcher conducting street poll on disability issues. Photo Credit: World Vision

Unfortunately, the stories of most people with disabilities (PWD) in Europe and Eurasia do not end as happily as Nver’s. In most countries in the region it is estimated that somewhere between 3% and 10% of the population is living with some form of disability.  Children with disabilities are typically relegated to “special schools” where they obtain an inferior education or they may be kept out of school altogether by parents who fear the stigma attached to their child’s disability. Very few schools in the region are able to offer inclusive education, although there are some efforts to improve this situation, including several funded by USAID. Also, adults with disabilities are very rarely employed. For example, estimates are that less than 10% of the adults with disabilities in Armenia have jobs. Due to the combination of high levels of unemployment and the meager disability benefits that are offered across the region, individuals with disabilities are at great risk of living in poverty. Given that social services for PWDs are also largely absent, the conditions under which they live are often dire.

USAID Missions in many countries in the region are funding programs designed to address the many barriers that keep PWDs from realizing their human rights and that make it difficult for them to be included in the social and economic life of their communities. For example, in Montenegro, USAID is helping to build a lodge in Durmitor National Park that is specially adapted to the needs of young people with disabilities so that by next summer as many as 160 disabled youth will be able to take advantage of outdoor activities available. Through the Equal Access for Equal Opportunities project in Macedonia, all 334 central primary schools were assessed to gauge the capacity of schools to be inclusive and to provide services to children with disabilities, especially through the use of assistive technology. The resulting statistics are able to quantify for the first time the needs of children and what must be done in the school system to meet these needs. USAID/Russia, USAID/Albania, and USAID/Serbia are all working on activities designed to increase the likelihood that PWDs will be able to obtain jobs by helping to amend laws and policies, providing vocational and skills building opportunities, organizing job fairs, and other innovative services.  While in Russia earlier this year, I met Denise Roza the Director of the Russian disability rights NGO, Perspektiva. She has amazing positive energy, and through Perspektiva, has been working to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities in Russia. Rosa pointed out that over the last decade they have been able to partner with disability organizations through 15 regions in Russia!

On Friday, our Missions joined the international community in celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.  In Georgia, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs (MoLHSA), USAID and its implementing partners held a conference designed to highlight the existing state policies related to PWDs, present the state programs that have been implemented in line with Georgia’s three-year national disability action plan, and describe government strategies/programs for 2011.

Having marked the 2010 International Day of Persons with Disabilities last week, we will now keep working every day to advance fundamental rights for people with disabilities so that they may live a more equitable life with greater opportunity.

HIV Prevalence Triples in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Over Past Decade

I believe tough news has to be faced squarely and challenges need to be met head on. It is alarming that the recent UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic found that the number of people living with HIV in Eastern Europe and Central Asia has nearly tripled since 2000 reaching an estimated total of 1.4 million people in 2009. This report should be a renewed call to action.

In contrast to the encouraging reports from other regions of the world, Eastern Europe and Central Asia have experienced the largest regional increase in HIV prevalence, with the Russian Federation and Ukraine accounting for nearly 90 percent of the newly reported infections in the region. The report also found a more than four-fold increase in the number of AIDS-related deaths from 2001 to 2009 in the region. In comparison, globally there has been a 20% decrease in new HIV infections over the past decade, and fewer AIDS-related deaths over the past few years due to anti-retroviral therapy.

HIV testing at Ukrainian clinic Photo Credit: USAID/Ukraine

The epidemic in Eastern Europe and Central Asia is concentrated among marginalized groups such as people who inject drugs, sex workers, their sexual partners, and men who have sex with men (MSM). There are many reasons that HIV infections continue to grow in Europe and Eurasia, from drug addiction to social or cultural stigma about sexual orientation. None of these should be insurmountable obstacles to working to prevent HIV infections.

USAID and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) directly support HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Russia, Ukraine, and Georgia. In Russia, activities focus on providing technical assistance to local counterparts to design and implement effective prevention and care programs for those most at risk of HIV infection. In Ukraine, through the Sunrise Project, USAID funds a pilot program of methadone-based Medication Assisted Treatment to provide 300 HIV-infected male and female injecting drug users with access to a package of services that includes MAT and related medical, legal, social and psychological care. The SHIP Project in Georgia supported HIV prevention among high risk groups; through this intervention, the use of shared injecting drug equipment was reported to decrease from 79% in 2002 to below 43% in 2005.

Regionally, USAID and PEPFAR work to address the concentrated epidemic through a variety of activities, including the development of the Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) Policy Toolkit. The toolkit will help to prevent HIV by providing information for advocates and policy makers working to support MAT implementation for injection drug users. Another regional activity supported a situational assessment of MSM and HIV in the region that reviewed data, information, and programs for MSM and identified gaps and potential activities to address some of these gaps.

As we celebrate the success of global efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS, we cannot forget about the most-at-risk populations in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region. While USAID, PEPFAR, and the governments and NGOs in the region have HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs in place, we all still have much work to do in order to control the epidemic. We need to face the tough news and work together even harder to save more lives.

USAID Supports Innovative “Survive” Partnership To Reduce Breast And Cervical Cancers In The Republic Of Georgia

On Monday, November 22, Dr. Nino Berdzuli, at a presentation before representatives of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and staff members of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), highlighted the Survive Project, a public private partnership supported by USAID and implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc (JSI), to improve awareness, screening ,and prevention of cervical and breast cancers in the Republic of Georgia.  Dr. Berdzuli is a trained OB-GYN from Georgia and serves as Maternal and Reproductive Health Technical Advisor at JSI.

In the Republic of Georgia, breast cancer is the single leading underlying cause of death for women aged 15-49.  Within cancers, cervical cancer is the second leading killer.  These were the findings of the recent Georgian Reproductive Age Mortality Survey (RAMOS) conducted through Georgian Centers for Disease Control (CDC), U.S. CDC, and Georgia’s Ministry of Health to investigate the deaths of women of the reproductive age (15-49) who died in 2006.  The results were published in 2009.

A young woman and her daughter attend the ‘Race for the Cure’ in Georgia. Photo Credit: JSI

From its inception, the Survive Project has received strong support from First Lady of Georgia Sandra Roelofs, the Municipality of Tbilisi, UNFPA, and other civil society groups.  It also has benefited from advocacy campaigns such as the Race for the Cure. Under the patronage of the First Lady, the National Screening Center was established and began providing Georgia’s first organized breast and cervical cancer screening and treatment of precancerous diseases for women residing in Tbilisi.

The objectives of the Survive Project were: 1) improving the knowledge and skills of health care providers on evidence-based cervical cancer prevention and breast and cervical cancer screening practices; 2) increasing utilization of cervical cancer screening and breast cancer early detection practices by strengthening existing health care facilities and programs and by building a  referral system; and 3) advancing cervical and breast cancer early detection through informed and empowered health consumers. Screening statistics from the National Screening Center showed progressive increases in the number of women screened for breast and cervical cancer.

Under the Survive Project, a total of 445 providers (366 family doctors and 79 OB/GYNs) completed cervical and breast cancer training courses.  Screening statistics from the National Screening Center showed an 89.7 percent increase in the average number of women screened monthly in the Center.  During the activity, the percentage of women diagnosed in early stages of cancer (vs. late stages when the cancer is more difficult or impossible to treat) increased three-fold in Tbilisi.  The vast majority of women (75%) that underwent screening reported that they learned about the screening program through the TV and outreach awareness raising campaigns.  The Survive Project also conducted large-scale educational campaigns covering television, radio, targeted mailings, text messages and events such as the “Race for the Cure” and the “Pearl of Wisdom” campaign against cervical cancer.

As Dr. Berdzuli noted during her presentation, “Survive was able to accomplish significant results over a short period of time due to the leadership of the First Lady of Georgia and the Tbilisi Municipality, the enthusiasm, confidence and commitment of local NGO partners, and the strong coalition of public and private donors supporting the effort.”

Learn more about USAID’s health programs.

USAID Seizes Development Opportunities in Ukraine

I arrived in Ukraine on Columbus Day to discuss challenges in Ukraine and how our programs are addressing those issues, as well as to visit our projects to see the real impact American aid has on the ground.

On Tuesday we met with the U.S. Embassy, USAID Mission, and implementing organizations in Kyiv to discuss our programs in Ukraine, the upcoming municipal elections, and financial reform programs. Since regional issues have long torn Ukraine’s regions apart, it was interesting to see those areas where Ukrainians had common perspectives – particularly on the devastating impact of the global economic crisis (which caused Ukraine’s GDP growth to fall from +8 percent in 2007 to -15 per cent in 2009).

Roberta Mahoney and others discuss the results of the USAID Municipal Heating Reform project with city and hospital officials. Photo Credit: USAID/Ukraine

I then traveled to Crimea accompanied by the USAID Mission Director, Janina Jaruzelski, State’s Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe & Eurasia (ACE), Dan Rosenblum, and several other State, USAID, and Embassy staff.

On our first morning in Crimea, we visited a number of hospitals that have received some 2,800 pieces (filling 96 trucks!) of medical equipment from a project of ACE’s Humanitarian Affairs section.

In the afternoon, we met a cross-section of young leaders in Crimea’s NGO community working to address issues from minority and prisoner rights to the media and the rights of persons with disabilities.  The group, which received leadership training through the USAID Ukrainian Strengthening Civil Society Organizations (UNITER) project, was remarkably perceptive about their capacity to influence policy and politics, the need to represent and motivate their members, and the real need to focus in sustained and creative ways on financial sustainability.

Thursday took us to a different Crimean city, Yevpatoria, where we met with the dynamic mayor about his comprehensive plan for the revitalization of the city’s economy. We then visited another hospital, this time from the outside, and watched as Ukrainian workers retrofitted the exterior of the hospital’s walls and attics with insulation with assistance from the USAID Municipal Heating Reform (MHR) project, which is also working in four other towns in Crimea.

The hospital will be able to increase heat generating efficiency in this cold region from roughly 64 to 99 percent, which will save the hospital money and improve conservation of critical resources.  Such a dramatic reduction in energy waste is one example of the positive impact MHR can have on Global Climate Change.

The highlight of the day, however, still lay ahead: meeting with NGOs and businesses devoted to promoting Crimea to the rest of the world!  We discussed the opportunities and challenges of promoting Crimean tourism with a significant representation of Crimean tourism businesses.

During a tour of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, we learned that Yevpatoria’s last multi-domed mosque was designed by Sinan, the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire, who took inspiration from the domes of Haghia Sophia in Istanbul in creating Yevpatoria’s impressive Turkish-style mosque.  Sinan had also designed many other Istanbul mosques.

Yevpatoria is home to the Qaraim, an ancient community closely linked to Judaism that is arguably the smallest ethnic group on earth, numbering some 2,000 individuals.  During the Russian Civil War, Mr. Duvan, the town’s mayor and one of the most illustrious members of the Qaraim community who had fled the Russian Revolution for exile in France, sent a shipload of wheat to the city to help his former citizens survive.

One last stop remained — the one stop business center. Hailed as a success by the business community, citizens, and the government, the office brings all the actors together under one roof to significantly reduce the time it takes to register a new business and limit opportunities for bribery and corruption during the process. It was a fitting end to a successful visit, as we came away assured of the capacity of Crimeans to establish businesses to share the beauty, history, and bounty of the peninsula with the world, while providing hope and jobs for its citizens.

In all we’ve had a very successful visit, gaining exposure and insight to the breadth of the USAID’s program and accomplishments and the challenges that remain in Ukraine, from democracy and governance to health, energy, and the economy.

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