Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 13, 2009

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Partners with Paraguay to Combat Corruption

Program funding supports Paraguays anti-corruption endeavors

April 13, 2009

Program funding supports Paraguays anti-corruption endeavors

Asuncion, Paraguay Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo, United States Ambassador Liliana Ayalde, Minister of Finance Dionisio Borda, President of the Senate Gonzalez Quintana and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director John Beed today participated in a ceremony celebrating the signing of Paraguays second Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold Program, which is worth approximately $30.3 million. The two-year program builds upon the success of Paraguays first MCC Threshold Program, signed in May 2006, and aims to institutionalize key reforms in public administration and to support anti-corruption activities in law enforcement, the judiciary, customs, and the healthcare sector.

““At this time we thank the U.S. government for supporting this program. We foresee that the institutions that are part of this synergistic and coherent process will faithfully comply to see the goals of the program fulfilled”” President Lugo stated.

The second phase of MCCs Threshold Program will be an important tool for the Government of Paraguay as the country works to promote transparency and strengthen key institutions in the fight against corruption said Ambassador Ayalde.

MCC applauds President Lugos efforts to combat corruption and affirms continued U.S. support for Paraguays anti-corruption efforts with this ambitious program said MCC Acting CEO Rodney Bent. Partners like Paraguay understand why MCC considers corruption to be one of the hard hurdles to MCC compact eligibility. The fight against poverty requires the fight against corruption Mr. Bent added.

Paraguays participation in the MCC Threshold Program is a unique opportunity for the nation, at a historic moment in its democratic evolution, to make important strides in the fight against corruption USAID Mission Director John Beed said.

The MCC 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 Encouraging 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 economic growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor and its objectivity.

USAID will administer Paraguays second MCC Threshold Program. The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Treasury Office will also be involved in implementing portions of the program.

MCC Threshold Program assistance signed to date totals over $470 million in 19 countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, So Tom and Prncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia.

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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.