August 1, 2006
Ghana and the Millennium Challenge Corporation Sign $547 Million Grant to Combat Poverty
Washington, D.C. Today, in a signing ceremony at the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin room, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Ambassador John Danilovich and Ghanaian Minister for Public Sector Reform Papa Kwesi Nduom signed a $547 million Compact, or agreement, between MCC and the Republic of Ghana. MCC Chair Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice officiated and witnessed the signing. She was joined by Ghanaian President John Kufuor.
The five-year, $547 million anti-poverty grant, the largest to date for the agency, will benefit more than one million Ghanaians and aims to improve the lives of the rural poor by raising farmer incomes through private sector-led, agribusiness development.
Congratulations to the people and government of Ghana for developing an integrated, results-oriented anti poverty program, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. This agreement is a testament to Ghana’s strong commitment to good governance and building the necessary institutional framework for aid to be used effectively. President Kufuor’s leadership was instrumental in producing a program that will help the poor in Ghana build a better life for themselves and their children.
The largest of the three components, the $241 million Agriculture project is designed to enhance the profitability of commercial agriculture among small farmers. The $143 million Transportation project is designed to reduce transportation costs for rural farmers taking crops to market. Finally, the $101 million Rural Development project is designed to expand the availability of basic community services such as access to education, water and sanitation, and electricity in rural areas.
Ambassador Danilovich added, Ghana is a valued partner in the fight against poverty. MCC looks forward to continuing our partnership with the people of Ghana as they begin to implement this ambitious plan.
Since its establishment in 2004, MCC has approved Compacts totaling more than $2.1 billion with nine nations: Madagascar, Honduras, Cape Verde, Nicaragua, Georgia, Benin, Vanuatu, Armenia and Ghana. MCC is also actively engaging with other eligible countries in Compact negotiations.
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.