Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 24, 2010

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Board Reviews Agency’s Poverty Reduction Results to Date

Board also discusses Philippines compact proposal

Washington, D.C. — The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors, chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, held its quarterly meeting today to review MCC’s poverty reduction results to date and to discuss a proposed MCC compact with the Philippines.

MCC and the Government of the Republic of the Philippines have been working together to develop an MCC compact proposal focused on reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth.  The MCC Board deferred final consideration of the compact proposal in order to engage with the incoming administration to secure their commitment to the ideals and principles of MCC and to the compact’s objectives and implementation.   

“At our meeting, the MCC Board praised the Government of the Philippines for their hard work in developing this innovative compact proposal and acknowledged the government’s commitment in working with MCC on its threshold program, which focused on corruption and ended last year,” said MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes. “We will look to the incoming Philippines’ government to demonstrate its commitment to MCC principles and the compact before final consideration.” 

The proposed five-year compact with the Philippines would include the expansion of a community-based rural development program called Kalahi-CIDSS focusing on poor areas, which is expected to benefit over five million people over the next 20 years.  The proposed compact also would include construction and rehabilitation of the 220 km Samar Road, which would improve access to markets and services for farmers, fishermen and small enterprises in some of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. Finally, the proposed compact would assist in the redesign and computerization of key business processes in the Department of Finance’s Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) that would increase the efficiency and sustainability of revenue collection while reducing opportunities for corruption. Some of the activities within the BIR are extensions of MCC’s threshold program with the Philippines, which concluded in May 2009.

The MCC Board also reviewed some of the agency’s program results to date. MCC has signed 20 compacts and has funded 21 threshold programs built on measureable and transparent objectives.  Some of MCC’s progress to date includes more than 112,000 farmers trained to enhance productivity and food security, the ongoing construction of more than 1,500 kilometers of roads to facilitate access to markets, schools, and health clinics, over 80 educational facilities constructed, and 479,000 rural hectares formalized to strengthen property rights.

MCC has been in existence just over six years.  Much has been accomplished in that short period of time. Deliv­ering results from MCC programs, sustained through broader policy reforms at the outset, is what matters most,” said Mr. Yohannes. “While MCC investments will begin to show results in the early years, the biggest returns – increases in the incomes of the poor – will be seen in the years ahead.”

Tomorrow, MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes will hold a post-Board public outreach event to provide additional details from the Board meeting. In addition to Mr. Yohannes’ remarks, Acting Vice President for Compact Development Darius Teter will discuss the countries MCC plans to partner with in the coming fiscal year. Matt Bohn, MCC Chief of Staff, will discuss MCC’s results to date, and Vice President for Policy and International Relations Sheila Herrling will provide an update on MCC’s policy priorities.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government agency 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.

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