USAID celebrates 20 years of cooperation and partnership with Serbia
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has begun celebrating 20 years of successful cooperation and partnership with Serbia, and on that occasion, an online meeting was organized with media representatives, the so-called Media Brunch. The meeting was an opportunity for the USAID officials, together with its partners and media representatives, to take a step back and reflect upon numerous projects that have been implemented throughout Serbia over the past two decades. The event was attended by the new USAID Mission Director in Serbia, Ms. Susan Fritz, along with Ms. Shanley Pinchotti, Director of the USAID Office of Democratic Governance and Economic Growth, as well as by some of the most successful entrepreneurs whose ideas were implemented within the cooperation projects in various fields.
In the period from 2001 until today, the US Agency for International Development has invested almost $900 million in order to support the economic and democratic development of Serbia through a vast number of projects. In the past twenty years, the US government has provided support to Serbia in the total amount of $1.2 billion, while American companies have at the same time invested over $4 billion dollars in our market.
“USAID is proudly marking this important jubilee as an opportunity to celebrate twenty years of partnership between the American and Serbian people. We are very much excited over the progress that has marked the previous two decades and we support the reforms implemented in all segments of society. In partnership with the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the private sector and civil society organizations, the USAID Mission has implemented thousands of projects in all parts of Serbia to help people make positive changes, put their ideas into action, create new jobs and contribute to the development of local communities in which they live. At the same time, we continue to support Serbia’s path to strong economic development, democratic processes in the Western Balkans and European integration. We’ll continue creating together“, said Ms. Susan Fritz, USAID Mission Director in Serbia.
USAID programs in Serbia contribute to greater economic competitiveness, strengthening the rule of law, fighting corruption, and improving public administration to best serve citizens. At the same time, a significant field of action is dedicated to the support for the media and civil society.
It is important to point out USAID’s support in its efforts to improve public health because every life is important for Serbia. In the previous year and a half alone, more than $9 million were invested in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. Assistance was not lacking even in the period of devastating floods that hit our country a few years ago.
Today’s unique gathering is the first in a series of activities by which USAID celebrates successful twenty years of work in our country, and it is also the beginning of a campaign called “Creating together”, which will remind us of many successful examples of cooperation and partnership between the two nations.
The Media Brunch was attended by representatives of local media from various parts of Serbia, together with representatives of major media outlets on the national level. Among the entrepreneurs whose innovative ideas have come to life with the support of USAID are Nataša Rašković, CEO and founder of Pro.Tok21 from Smederevo, Vuk Nikolić, founder of the start-up company Truck Track, and Dejan Milijanović, director of the company Desing, spoke about their experiences during this collaboration.
The hosts of the gathering were popular TV anchor Kristina Radenković and Nenad Gladić, aka Lepi Brka, who showed the guests how to make popular American pancakes according to the original recipe, and the participants also tasted traditional pancakes with prunes, as a local culinary speciality. Through culinary masterpieces, it is shown once again how the two nations share customs, traditions and together create new successes.
The gathering was held to mark the great jubilee of USAID at the international level, i.e. the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of USAID, the US Agency for International Development, which is present in more than 100 countries around the world. This organization is committed to the development of democratic societies, the improvement of living conditions, the reduction of poverty and the progress towards sustainable development.