Press Release

For Immediate Release

August 23, 2007

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

Guyana Signs $6.7 Million Millennium Challenge Corporation Grant to Support Fiscal Reforms

Georgetown, Guyana Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Deputy CEO Rodney Bent and Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo today officiated at the signing of an MCC Threshold Program agreement between the United States and Guyana. The two-year $6.7 million program focuses on reducing Guyanas fiscal deficit by improving its ability to collect revenue and better manage its budget. Additionally, the program will help reduce the number of days and cost to start a business by streamlining business registrations. Guyanese Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh and USAID Mission Director Dr. Fenton Sands signed the agreement.

Congratulations to the people and government of Guyana for their commitment to economic reform, said MCC Deputy CEO Rodney Bent. Guyanas threshold program will help overhaul fiscal policies and create a more business-friendly environment. We look forward to working with the people of Guyana as they implement this ambitious program.Mr. Bent added, I would like to thank our colleagues at USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana, led by Charg daffaires Michael Thomas, for their work in making this program possible.

MCCs Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the threshold of eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account Compacts. Threshold Program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy weaknesses indicated by the countrys scores on 16 policy indicators in three categoriesRuling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. These policy indicators are central to the criteria and methodology for Compact eligibility and are products of respected international institutions and national data. Each indicator was selected based on its relationship to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor, and its objectivity.

The assistance package for the Government of Guyana is focused on improving the countrys performance on the Economic Freedom indicator.

MCCs Threshold Program assistance approved to date totals approximately $332 million in fifteen countries: Burkina Faso, Malawi, Tanzania, Albania, Paraguay, Zambia, Philippines, Ukraine, Jordan, Indonesia, Moldova, Kenya, Uganda, Guyana and Kyrgyz Republic.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will oversee implementation of the program on behalf of MCC. More details about the programs components and expected results can be found at www.mcc.gov.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation, 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.