Press Release

For Immediate Release

September 12, 2006

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Board of Directors Approves Jordan’s Threshold Program to Strengthen Democratic Institutions

Washington, D.C.  The Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) this afternoon approved a $25 million Threshold Program developed by the Government of Jordan to advance its political and economic reform efforts. The program seeks to support Jordans reform efforts by broadening public participation in the political and electoral process, increasing government transparency and accountability, and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration.

MCC applauds the efforts and commitment of the people and Government of Jordan, under the leadership of King Abdullah II, to strengthen the democratic institutions and the policy environment needed to reduce poverty and spur economic growth, said MCC Chief Executive Officer Ambassador John Danilovich. The MCA Threshold Program will assist the Government of Jordan to enact an ambitious package of legislative and regulatory reforms to advance homegrown reform initiatives. I thank our colleagues within the Jordanian Government, USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Jordan for their efforts in making this program a reality.

The Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the threshold of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility for Compacts, meaning that they are committed to undertaking the reforms necessary to improve policy performance and eventually qualify for MCA Compact assistance. Threshold Program assistance is used to help such countries address the specific policy weaknesses indicated by the countrys scores on the 16 policy indicators that are central to MCA eligibility criteria and methodology.

MCC measures policies in three areasRuling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedomusing 16 policy indicators which have a demonstrated link to poverty reduction and growth. The indicators are measurements by respected international institutions and each 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.

To date, under the Threshold program MCC has approved over $200 million in nine countries: Albania; Burkina Faso; Jordan; Malawi; Paraguay; Philippines, Tanzania; Ukraine; and Zambia.

In addition, MCC has signed and approved Compacts totaling over $2.5 billion with nine countries: Armenia; Benin; Cape Verde; Georgia; Ghana; Honduras; Madagascar; Nicaragua; and Vanuatu. MCC is actively engaging with other eligible countries to assist them in Compact development and is on track to complete two additional Compacts before the end of 2006.

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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.