July 14, 2008
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.