Press Release

For Immediate Release

July 28, 2005

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Identifies Candidate Countries for Fiscal Year 2006

New Lower Middle Income Countries Added to Candidate Pool

Washington, D.C. Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors identified 69 candidate countries in the low income category and 29 candidate countries in the lower middle income category for fiscal year 2006. The definitions of MCC’s low income category and lower middle income category are provided in MCC’s authorizing legislation which is available on MCC’s website, www.mcc.gov.

Under MCC’s legislation, the identification of candidate countries is the first step in the process of choosing the countries that will be eligible for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) assistance. The Board will subsequently determine which of these candidate countries will be eligible to apply for assistance based on their relative performance in ruling justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom.

For fiscal year 2006, countries are low income candidates for the MCA if they have a per capita income equal to or less than $1575 and are not prohibited from receiving United States economic assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law.

The low income candidate countries for fiscal 2006 include: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, China, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, East Timor, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyz Republic, Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, and Zambia.

In fiscal year 2006, MCC legislation allows for consideration of a new category, lower middle income countries, for MCA assistance. For fiscal year 2006, there are 29 countries which are candidates under this new category. Countries are candidates for lower middle income if they have a per capita income between $1575 and $3255 and are not prohibited from receiving United States economic assistance under the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 or any other provision of law.

The lower middle income candidate countries for fiscal 2006 include: Albania, Algeria, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji Islands, Guatemala, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Namibia, Peru, Romania, Samoa, Suriname, Swaziland, Thailand, Tonga, Tunisia, and Tuvalu .

Under MCC legislation, t here is a minimum 90-day waiting period after the Board identifies candidate countries before eligible countries can be selected. The Board expects to select fiscal 2006 eligible countries in November 2005.

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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.