Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 3, 2006

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Albania Signs Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program to Tackle Corruption

Tirana, Albania —Today, Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) CEO Ambassador John Danilovich officiated at the signing of a $13.85 million Threshold program for Albania at the Council of Ministers Building in Tirana.  Albanian Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode and USAID Mission Director Harry Birnholz signed the agreement.  Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha and U.S. Ambassador to Albania Marcie Ries observed the signing.  The program is focused on improving the country’s performance on MCC’s Ruling Justly and Economic Freedom indicators and aims to reduce corruption through reforms in tax administration, public procurement, and business registration.

“Congratulations to the people and government of Albania for their bold commitment to tackling corruption and strengthening the rule of law,” said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich.  “This program is a testament to Albania ‘s desire to improve the institutional infrastructure needed to reduce poverty and spur lasting economic growth.  We thank Ambassador Ries for her leadership as well as our colleagues at the U.S. Embassy and the USAID Mission in Albania for their help in making this program a reality.” 

MCC’s Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the “threshold” of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility for Compacts and are committed to policy reforms that improve their performance necessary to qualify for MCA Compact assistance.  MCC measures policies in three areas — Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom — using 16 policy indicators that have a demonstrated link to poverty reduction and growth.  Threshold Program assistance is used to help such countries address specific policy weaknesses indicated by the countries’ scores on these policy indicators, which are central to the criteria and methodology for MCA Compact eligibility.

To date, MCC has approved or committed nearly $100 million under its Threshold Program, including $35 million to tackle corruption in Paraguay, $13 million to help improve girls’ primary education in Burkina Faso, $21 million to help Malawians fight corruption, and $11 million to help Tanzanians fight corruption and strengthen the rule of law.  

In addition, MCC has signed Compacts totaling over $1.5 billion with eight countries: Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Vanuatu, Benin, and Armenia.  MCC is also actively engaging with other eligible countries to assist them in Compact development. 

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, 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.