Press Release

For Immediate Release

June 17, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

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.

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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.