Press Release

For Immediate Release

February 4, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

President Requests Increase in Funding for Innovative Foreign Aid Agency

Washington, D.C.  President Bush today submitted his Fiscal Year 2009 Budget to Congress, recommending $2.225 billion for Millennium Challenge Corporation. This request represents a $680 million increase over last years enacted level and reaffirms President Bushs continued commitment to MCCs mission to reduce poverty through sustainable economic growth in the developing world.

MCCs impressive body of work continues to grow with 16 poverty reduction grants totaling $5.5 billion and $325 million in Threshold assistance to 15 countries. MCC compacts with partner countries symbolize Americas continuing commitment to help the poor progress toward a future of promise and prosperity. There is clear bipartisan support for the MCC and I join with President Bush in urging Congress to fully fund this innovative program, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich.

Partner countries understand that MCC eligibility and funding is awarded to build on their own performance and commitment to development. To qualify for MCC assistance, countries are pressing forward with major social, political, and economic reforms. Countries already selected are designing programs that will improve the lives of the poor and spur sustainable economic growth. However, for the first time in MCCs four-year history, there are more countries working toward MCC grants than there is money available for funding these compacts. Full funding is essential for MCC to support to high-quality proposals from partner countries that will help their populations break the cycle of systemic poverty.

Ambassador Danilovich added, As stewards of U.S. taxpayer dollars, MCC is committed to measuring the results achieved from the assistance we provide. Implementation is underway in the Compacts we have signed, results are emerging, and the success of our programs is becoming evident. MCC programs are now issuing land titles, creating jobs, increasing market access, building girl-friendly schools, expanding vocational training, and improving access to water and sanitation services.

MCC is an important component of Americas constructive engagement around the world, where we build partnerships with developing countries most committed to good governance, investing in their people, and economic freedom. MCCs work is an important manifestation of Americas active engagement in addressing one of the most pressing problems facing the world today systemic poverty.

We look forward to working with Congress to achieve the Presidents request for MCC. This program is a concrete symbol of Americans generosity and commitment to building prosperity and stability in the world, concluded Ambassador Danilovich.

Please visit http://www.mcc.gov/documents/factsheet-020408-fy09budget.pdf for a breakdown of the FY 2009 Budget request for MCC.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty. For more information, visit www.mcc.gov.