USAID spends millions on Armenian 'civic engagement'

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Watchdog,Judicial Watch,Kelly Cohen,USAID,Inspectors General,Waste and Fraud

U.S. taxpayers are now part of a million-dollar effort to improve media in Armenia.

Officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development recently awarded more than $3 million for a program at its mission in Armenia, according to non-profit watchdog Judicial Watch.

With this money, USAID officials hope to improve the quality of media in the western Asian country with a population of slightly less than three million.

The official announcement about the "Media for Informed Civic Engagement" program details the use of the money.

This includes an emphasis on "reforms in decentralization, transparency and accountability, and social sector policy."

The goal is to "increase citizen access to independent and reliable sources of information about the [government of Armenia]’s policies and planned reforms."

It will cost taxpayers approximately $3.35 million.

USAID is often called out by Judicial Watch for spending money on dubious programs in other countries that cost taxpayers millions.

For example, Judicial Watch reported that in August 2012, USAID spent $10 million to train Filipinos to work in Asian call centers.

In September 2013, almost $240 million from USAID went to the fraud-infested Afghan Ministry of Public Health, despite warnings from the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction of the lack of oversight.

According to the announcement, the MICE program is a "five-year activity."

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