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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 15, 2001

Statement by the Press Secretary

President Bush announced today that the United States has agreed to the transfer of additional $20 million from the Polish American Enterprise Fund (PAEF) to the Polish-American Freedom Foundation (PAFF).  With this grant, the President has re-affirmed our commitment to supporting the Foundation ints programs that advance democratic and market reforms in Poland and the region.  This private sector support will take the form of grants to private institutions and individuals working in the areas of economic reform, leadership development, civil society, local government, small businesses and legal reform.

The Polish-American Freedom Foundation was created as a result of the successful completion of the Polish-American Enterprise Fund, which was itself an early initiative launched by former President Bush in 1989.  In 1989, the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act authorized $240 million to establish and maintain the Enterprise Fund.  By 1996, the Fund had completed its mission of stimulating Poland's private sector sufficiently to start liquidating its assets.  Instead of returning all the funds to the U.S. Treasury, the U.S. Government agreed to deposit the proceeds from the sale of PAEF assets worth at least $150 million to endow the Polish-American Freedom Foundation.  In announcing this grant, the President welcomed the Foundation's continuing achievements in promoting democratic and free market developments in Poland and the region.

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