June 16, 2006
Millennium Challenge Corporation Board Approves Anti-Corruption Initiative in Ukraine
Washington, D.C. The Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) today approved financing for an anti-corruption initiative in Ukraine. Ukraine is presently ineligible for broader MCC Compact assistance because of persistent problems with public corruption, one of 16 factors used to select countries to participate in the Compact program. Compact eligibility is reserved for countries that score above the median on independently measured indices such as political and economic freedom, investment in education, control of corruption, respect for civil liberties, health care spending, fiscal and trade policies and judicial fairness.
Ukraine is undertaking bold reform programs to tackle corruption and attract more international investment, including possible future MCC Compact assistance that is designed to reduce poverty through economic growth, said Ambassador John Danilovich, Chief Executive Officer, MCC.
Ukraine’s poor performance on the corruption index is primarily attributable to weak conflict of interest laws, a lack of independence, efficiency, and integrity in the judiciary, inadequate whistleblower and witness protection programs, and endemic corruption in the police force, educational and medical institutions, as well as customs and tax administration. The Ukraine initiative targets many of these obstacles as the country seeks to qualify for Compact eligibility.
The two-year $45 million initiative in Ukraine will be administered by the United States Agency for International Development and aims to reduce corruption in the public sector through strengthening civil society’s monitoring and exposure of public corruption, reforming the judiciary, increasing government monitoring and enforcement of ethical and administrative standards, streamlining and enforcing regulations and combating corruption in higher education.
The initiative is part of MCC’s Threshold Program which assists 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 weaknesses indicated by the country’s scores on the 16 policy indicators.
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.