July 23, 2009
MCC Team Visits Liberia, Discusses Possibilities for Threshold Program Projects
Washington, D.C. â€“ A team of officials representing the U.S. Governmentâ€™s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is visiting Liberia this week to discuss opportunities for a potential partnership to reduce poverty through economic growth. The visit is part of a proposal development process through which, pending future action by the MCC Board of Directors, a grant under the MCC Threshold Program may be made available to help the people of Liberia.
In December 2008, the MCC Board of Directors selected Liberia as eligible for MCCâ€™s Threshold Program, which provides small grants to help reform-minded governments improve their performance on MCC eligibility indicators. Following eligibility selection, a country must undergo an extensive proposal process before it receives an MCC grant under the threshold program.
â€œOver the past several years, Liberiaâ€™s performance has improved significantly on many of the MCC eligibility indicators,â€ said MCC Acting Chief Executive Officer Rodney Bent. â€œLiberia has demonstrated leadership and commitment to tackling many of the impediments to poverty reduction and economic growth. We welcome this dialogue. While becoming eligible for MCC funding does not mean a country will automatically receive an MCC threshold program grant, I am encouraged by the dedication and commitment of the government of Liberia to this program development process.â€
The MCC team visiting Liberia this week is engaging with the members of the Liberian government, including President Johnson-Sirleaf and the Liberian Ministry of Planning & Economic Affairs, members of civil society, and relevant stakeholders to discuss potential threshold program projects. Following this initial visit by MCCâ€™s team, the government of Liberia, with the help of the U.S. Agency for International Development, must create a plan that identifies measurable ways to improve policy performance, and must submit the plan to MCC for review and approval.
Threshold program grants are awarded to countries whose plans demonstrate a meaningful commitment to reform and a high likelihood of successful implementation. In making its country selection decisions, the MCC Board of Directors considers the policy performance of candidate countries using 17 indicators in three areasâ€”Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Economic Freedom. The Board also takes into consideration the opportunity for MCC to reduce poverty and generate economic growth, and available budgetary resources.
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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency designed to work with developing countries, 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 help eliminate extreme poverty. For more information about MCC, visit www.mcc.gov.