Press Release

For Immediate Release

April 18, 2006

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Board of Directors Approves Zambia’s Threshold Program to ComCorruption

Washington, D.C.—The Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a two-year $24.3 million Threshold Program with the Republic of Zambia to fight corruption and improve government effectiveness. The program’s three-pronged strategy in combating corruption focuses on preventing corruption in targeted government institutions, improving public service delivery to the private sector, and improving border management of trade.

"Congratulations to the people and government of Zambia for their ambitious program to root out corruption and create a more conducive climate for investment,” said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. "I applaud the leadership of President Mwanawasa for his bold action in implementing a ‘Zero Tolerance for Corruption’ policy.”

Ambassador Danilovich added, "Special thanks to our colleagues at USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Zambia led by Ambassador Carmen Martinez for their help in making this program possible.”

MCC’s Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the "threshold” of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility for Compacts. Threshold Program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy weaknesses indicated by the country’s scores on 16 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 MCA eligibility and are products of respected international institutions and national data. Each indicator was selected based on its relationship to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor, and its objectivity.

MCC’s Threshold Program assistance totals approximately $118 million in six countries: Burkina Faso, Malawi, Tanzania, Albania, Paraguay, and Zambia.

MCC has signed Compacts totaling over $1.5 billion with eight countries: Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Benin, Vanuatu, 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.