Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 14, 2005

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Signs $175 Million Compact with Nicaragua

Washington, D.C. Today, the United States, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, signed a five-year, $175 million Compact with the Republic of Nicaragua . The Millennium Challenge Compact will reduce poverty and spur economic growth by funding projects in the regions of Len and Chinandega aimed at reducing transportation costs and improving access to markets for rural communities; increasing wages and profits from farming and related enterprises in the region, and increasing investment by strengthening property rights.

MCC congratulates the people and government of Nicaragua for reaching this important milestone said MCC CEO Paul Applegarth. This agreement reflects Nicaragua’s commitment to improve governance and the rule of law. Nicaraguans have demonstrated their resolve to creating hope and opportunity within their country by developing a results-oriented program which reflects their priorities for poverty reduction and growth. I especially want to recognize President Bolaosleadership and his team for their hard work. Nicaragua is a valued partner in the fight to reduce poverty, and MCC looks forward to continuing our partnership.

Even though it was started just last year, MCC is already showing results. MCC has signed Compact with Madagascar, Honduras, Cape Verde, and now Nicaragua, and in the ten months since MCC began receiving country proposals, it has approved over $600 million in Compact and pre-Compact funding in eight different countries. Of equal importance, independent observers are already reporting they are seeing an MCC effect on good governance as countries implement significant reforms to improve their chances of qualifying for the Millennium Challenge Account.

Launched by President Bush, the MCA is a historic, different approach to development assistance that recognizes sound policies and good governance are critical to poverty reduction and economic growth in developing countries.

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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.