Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 14, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Burkina Faso and MCC Sign Poverty Reduction Grant to Improve Agriculture, Roads, Girls Education and Land Use

Washington, D.C. In a signing ceremony today at the State   Departments Benjamin Franklin room, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium   Challenge Corporation, Ambassador John Danilovich, and Burkina   Fasos Minister of Finance, Jean Baptiste Marie   Pascal Compaor, signed a $480.9 million poverty reduction grant. The Chair of   MCCs Board of Directors, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, officiated and   witnessed the signing joined by Burkina Fasos President Blaise   Compaor and Foreign Minister Djibrill Bassol. U.S. Ambassador to   Burkina Faso, Jeanine   Jackson, and Burkina Fasos   Ambassador to the U.S., Ernest Paramanga Yonli, also   observed the signing.

The   five-year agreement will help the landlocked West African nation reduce poverty   and stimulate economic growth through strategic investments in improved   agricultural productivity, land tenure security and land management,  farm-to-market roads, and girls primary education.

MCC congratulates the people of   Burkina Faso for developing an innovative program that will reduce poverty and   stimulate economic growth, said MCC CEO Ambassador John   Danilovich. The compact, focused on   increasing agricultural productivity, is particularly timely because it provides   resources to address food crises in an especially hard-hit part of the   world.

Burkina Faso’s   compact with the United   States is MCC’s 17th compact and follows a successful MCC   threshold program in Burkina   Faso that, in partnership with USAID, helped   improve girls’ education in the country over the past two years. The compact   program will build on the successes of the threshold program, by funding, among   others, the construction of classrooms in 132 ““girl friendly”” schools for grades   4 through 6. The compact program also is expected to improve rural productivity   through investments in irrigation and water management, technical assistance to   farmers, access to rural credit, rural land governance and upgrades to rural and   primary roads.

Ambassador   Danilovich added, President Compaors   leadership was instrumental in developing a program that will help the poor in   Burkina   Faso build a better life for themselves and   their children. Burkina   Faso is a valued partner in the fight against   poverty and we look forward to continuing our dynamic partnership during the   implementation of the compact.

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