Press Release

For Immediate Release

January 30, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Announces Program with Niger to Promote Girls’ Education, Combat Corruption

Washington, D.C.  The Millennium Challenge Corporation today announced the approval of a three-year, $23 million threshold program to help the Government of Niger improve its performance on MCCs Control of Corruption, Business Start-Up, Land Rights and Access and Girls Primary Education Completion Rate indicators.

Specifically, the program will reduce public corruption, particularly in the health and education sectors, by strengthening the legal framework, improving public procurement systems and supporting the anticorruption efforts of civil society and the media. The program will also establish administrative, legal and regulatory structures to reform and streamline the process of starting a business. To improve land rights and access to land, the program will help reduce the time and costs of land transfers and valuation, obtaining building permits and notarization. Finally, the program will bolster girls education by implementing public awareness campaigns, improving the quality of teaching, establishing methods to motivate and retain girl students and building girl-friendly schools.

”“Congratulations to the government and people of Niger for launching this innovative program, which will improve the education of their children and encourage anti-corruption efforts, stated MCCs CEO, Ambassador John Danilovich. This program demonstrates Niger’s commitment to reduce poverty and support sustainable economic growth. MCC looks forward to partnering with Niger in implementing this impressive program.

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 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 be the U.S. government agency responsible for administering the Niger threshold program.

To date, MCC has signed nearly $325 million in Threshold assistance in fifteen countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Moldova, Paraguay, Philippines, 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.