Press Release

For Immediate Release

January 16, 2009

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Announces Additional $30 Million Program with Paraguay

Initiatives will help fight corruption and strengthen the rule of law

Washington, D.C.  The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) today announced the approval by its Board of Directors of a second, or stage II, Millennium Challenge Corporation threshold program to help the government of Paraguay improve its performance on MCCs Control of Corruption and Rule of Law indicators. The two-year, $30.3 million program will build upon the substantial successes of Paraguays initial threshold program and will focus on anti-corruption efforts in law enforcement, customs, and the healthcare and judicial sectors. The goal is not only to reduce opportunities for corruption and increase successful prosecution of wrongdoers, but also to improve public opinion of the governments efforts in these areas and reinforce Paraguays commitment to combating corruption.

MCC is proud to continue our partnership with the government of Paraguay, which has remained resolute in the battle against corruption, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. The fight against poverty requires the fight against corruption. This program demonstrates Paraguays commitment to reducing poverty and helping its people achieve and sustain more prosperous lives. MCC congratulates Paraguay on this endeavor.

MCCs threshold program is designed to assist countries that are on the threshold of eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account compacts. Threshold program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy areas for improvement indicated by their scores on 17 policy indicators in three categories Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. These policy indicators are central to the criteria and methodology for compact eligibility and are products of respected international institutions and national data. Each indicator was selected based on its relationship to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor, and its objectivity.

The United States Agency for International Development will administer Paraguays stage II MCC threshold program. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Treasury Office will be involved in implementing parts of the program.

MCCs threshold program assistance approved to date totals over $470 million in 19 countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, So Tom and Prncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government corporation designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.