Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 8, 2005

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Board Approves First Threshold Program

Program with Burkina Faso Focuses on Improving Girls' Primary Education Completion Rates

Washington, D.C. The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors approved the first Threshold Country Plan. The Program, with Burkina Faso, is a $12.9 million program focused on improving girls’ primary education completion rates.

MCC congratulates the people and government of Burkina Faso for their innovative program to increase primary education completion rates among girls, said MCC CEO Paul Applegarth. Education is a crucial component of fighting poverty. Through this program MCC will fund the construction of schools and teacher incentives in 10 provinces with the lowest girls’ primary education completion rates. We are proud to be partners with the people of Burkina Faso to ensure that Burkinabe girls have greater access to education and have the opportunity to chart a course towards a brighter future.

The Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the threshold, of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility for Compacts, meaning that if the countries make the reforms necessary to improve policy performance, the country may eventually qualify for MCA Compact assistance. Threshold Program assistance is used to help such countries address the specific policy weaknesses indicated by the country’s scores on sixteen policy indicators that are central to MCA eligibility criteria and methodology.

MCC measures policies in three areas Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom using 16 policy indicators which have a demonstrated link to poverty reduction and growth. The indicators are products of respected international institutions and national data and each 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.

Investments in girls’ education help reduce poverty and produce economic gains for a country through higher wages, faster growth, and increased productivity. Educating girls and women also results in social gains including decreased child and maternal mortality, reduced transmission of HIV, fewer cases of domestic violence, greater educational achievement by children, and increased participation and empowerment in government for women.

Burkina Faso Program Fact Sheet

###

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.