Press Release

For Immediate Release

June 13, 2005

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Board Approves Two Compacts

Washington, D.C.Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors approved two Millennium Challenge Compactsone with Cape Verde and the other with Nicaragua. The over $110 million, five-year Compact with Cape Verde focuses on increasing rural incomes of the poor, by increasing agricultural productivity, integrating internal markets and reducing transportation costs, and developing the private sector through mobilization of private sector investment and financial sector reform. The $175 million five-year Compact with Nicaragua aims to increase investment by strengthening property rights, reduce transportation costs to improve access to markets, and increase income for farms and rural businesses in a poor region that is one of the country’s likely engines for economic growth.

MCC congratulates Cape Verde and Nicaragua for well designed, thoughtful programs to improve the lives of their people, said MCC CEO Paul Applegarth. The need to provide opportunity to the poor in Cape Verde and Nicaragua is great and urgent. Cape Verde and Nicaragua are examples of two countries putting in place the right conditions for aid to be used effectively. MCC is proud to collaborate with each country’s fight to reduce poverty through economic growth and offer hope to their people.

In 2004, President Bush established MCC with a vision to combat extreme poverty by encouraging countries to take ownership of their own development path. His vision is being realized with the approvals of these two Compacts and will continue to be achieved with more Compacts anticipated in the coming months. The MCC Board chaired by Secretary Rice is committed to working with our partner countries and executing President Bush’s vision.

Following MCC Board approval, there isa fifteen day Congressional notification period before either Compact can be signed. MCC expects to sign each Compact in July.

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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.