June 17, 2008
MCC Board of Directors Approves Poverty Reduction Grant for Burkina Faso To Improve Agriculture, Roads, Girls' Education and Land Use
Armenia and Madagascar also discussed during Board Meeting
Washington, D.C.The Millennium Challenge Corporations Board of Directors today approved a $480.9 million Millennium Challenge poverty reduction grant with Burkina Faso. This five-year agreement will help the landlocked West African nation reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth through strategic investments to improve agricultural productivity, land use rights and land management, farm-to-market roads, and girls primary education.
Burkina Faso’s compact with the United States is MCC’s 17th agreement and follows a successful MCC threshold program that, in partnership with USAID, helped improve girls’ education in the country over the past two years. The new compact will build upon this success and fund the construction of classrooms in 132 ““girl friendly”” schools for grades 4 through 6. The compact will also improve land and rural productivity through investments in irrigation and water management, technical assistance to farmers, access to rural credit and improved rural and primary roads.
Through this Millennium Challenge grant, the American people support Burkina Fasos efforts to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich following the June 17 Board meeting. The compact, focused on increasing agricultural productivity, is particularly timely because it offers a long-term solution to the current food crisis in an especially hard-hit part of the world.
Following MCC Board approval, there is a 15-day congressional notification period before the compact may be signed. MCC anticipates signing this agreement with Burkina Faso by the end of July.
Danilovich added, Our partnership with Burkina Faso will significantly improve the lives of the Burkinabe by providing them access to education, better roads and agricultural resources. MCC congratulates the people of Burkina Faso for developing a strategic, results-oriented program. MCC and Burkina Faso have reason to be proud, given our accomplishments with the girl friendly schools of the threshold program. We look forward to strengthening this partnership and enabling the people of Burkina Faso to lead their economic development efforts while remaining accountable for their progress.”“
In addition to approving the compact with Burkina Faso, the Board also discussed events in Armenia. During the meeting, MCCs Board echoed the international communitys concern regarding the government’s actions with respect to freedom of assembly, the arrests and detentions of opposition supporters, and the need for an independent inquiry into the conduct of the election and post-election events. MCCs Board agreed that recent developments in Armenia intended to address these concerns were encouraging and will continue to monitor the situation in Armenia.
Previously, the Board voted to extend the term of the compact with Madagascar. Madagascar, with whom MCC signed its first compact and the only one that is four years in length, has requested a one year extension. MCC will amend the compact to extend its term to five years. This action does not change the amount of funds available under the compact, but is designed to position Madagascar to more fully implement the compacts planned activities.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States 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. For more information about MCC, visit www.mcc.gov.