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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 15, 2001
Polish American Freedom Foundation
In 1989, the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act authorized $240 million to establish and maintain the Polish-American Enterprise Fund (PAEF). Because of its success in stimulating Poland's private sector, the PAEF received authority in 1996 to stop making new investments with USG-provided capital and to begin liquidating its assets.
After consultations within the Administration, and with the Congress and the Polish government, it was agreed that one-half of the original grant to the PAEF (or $120 million) would be deposited to the general account of the U.S. Treasury. These transfers will have been completed by September 30, 2001.
The other half of the original grant, plus all profits generated by the PAEF, for a total of at least $150 million, is being used to endow a new Foundation in Poland, the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF), to support further democratic and market reforms there and within the region. A not-for-profit corporation with its main office in Warsaw, the PAFF has already received $80 million from the PAEF and is up and running.
During his visit to Poland, the President announced the transfer of an additional $20 million from the PAEF to the PAFF. This will bring the foundation another step closer to full endowment.
Once the foundation is fully funded, the endowment is expected to yield about $8-12 million per year. Those funds will be used to finance grants to private institutions and individuals to support development in the following areas: economic reform, leadership development, civil society, local government and the business climate, and legal reform. Income from the endowment grant is being used for programs that primarily promote the development of Poland's private sector, and with benefits to other countries in the region, such as Ukraine.
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