Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 14, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Kyrgyz Republic Launches $16 million Millennium Challenge Threshold Program to Improve the Rule of Law

Washington, D.C. — Today the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic signed a Millennium Challenge Corporation threshold program agreement at the White House in Bishkek. The two-year, $16 million program seeks to increase the independence and effectiveness of the judicial system, develop a more functional and trusted police force, improve the government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute corruption cases, educate the public and media on the dangers of corruption and strengthen the financial disclosure system.  The threshold program is a commitment by both parties.  By agreeing to participate in this program, the Kyrgyz Republic has committed to implement fundamental reforms that will ultimately benefit all its citizens.  The United States has committed to supporting the Kyrgyz Republic’s efforts at reform and helping their government lay the groundwork for a more prosperous and stable future.

“In addition to implementing the reforms outlined within this program, significant reforms must continue to be made outside the program in order for the Kyrgyz Republic to improve its scores on the MCC selection criteria” said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. “This includes the areas of media freedom, improvements in the election process, decentralization and democratization. The success of this threshold program depends on the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic’s commitment to the ongoing process of democratization. The U.S. government has expressed concerns about the conduct of this past December’s parliamentary elections in the Kyrgyz Republic and has expressed its hopes that the reforms under the threshold program will lead to greater transparency, a vital step in establishing a more open and democratic nation.”

The United States Agency for International Development will be the U.S. government agency responsible for oversight and implementation of the Kyrgyz threshold program. The U.S. Department of Justice will implement a portion of the program.

To date, the U.S. has signed over $340 million in MCC threshold program agreements in sixteen countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Moldova, Paraguay, Philippines, São Tomé and Príncipe, 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.  For more information, please visit www.mcc.gov.