71
Democracy and Governance programs make time limited, discrete
investments in both electoral law and civil society to help
regularize and legitimize processes which ensure the orderly,
accepted transfers of political power.
These are usually time
sensitive windows of opportunity which may be critical in
ensuring USAID's success more broadly.
This is particularly true
for countries where elite competition has slowed the
establishment of an accepted framework for electoral competition
(Cambodia), or where no basis for real electoral competition has
been laid (Indonesia), or where there is increasing tension and
potential conflict over the impending transfer of power or
succession.
Latin America and the Caribbean:
USAID programs support the
establishment of basic political and judicial institutions that
can meet critical needs and basic rights in four post conflict
countries.
In Haiti, development of the police force and
achievement of significant improvements in several areas of the
justice system are uncertain.
Increased effort may be
recommended following a 1998 evaluation of progress and needs.
Freedom House rates Haiti overall as partly free with the
indicators for political rights and civil liberties at 4 and 5 (1
is the best ranking possible, 7 the worst).
Freedom House also
rates El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua as partly free.
USAID's goal is improvement in ratings for all four by 1999; but,
the specific numerical targets are yet to be determined.
Europe and the New Independent States:
All countries in the
region are undergoing rapid social, economic and political
transition.
USAID programs in these rapid transition countries,
in part, are aimed at its defined regional strategic objective of
"Reduced human suffering and crisis impact," a sub set of the
Agency's overall goal.
Each country operating unit has
completed, or will shortly complete, strategic plans that specify
how each contributes to the achievement of the Agency's Strategic
Plan objectives.
Maintaining the peace in post conflict Bosnia 
Herzegovina is of direct importance to United States' strategic
and economic interests in Europe; the USAID program is an
integral part of that strategy.
Ethnic conflicts have compounded
the problems of transition in the Caucasus.
The conflict over
Nagorno Karabakh has resulted in nearly 800,000 refugees and
internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan and 300,000 in Armenia
and USAID assistance have reduced suffering.
The emphasis in FY
1999 USAID programs in Armenia and Georgia will be on supporting
the transition to democracy and market oriented economies.
In
Tajikistan, clan based conflicts have led to warfare, major
population displacements, and continuing instability.
USAID
programs in Tajikistan concentrate on humanitarian and transition
assistance.
In 1996 97, Freedom House rated Bosnia Herzegovina, Armenia and
Georgia as "partly free" (PF).
In the same survey, Azerbaijan,
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