September 23, 2005
Millennium Challenge Corporation Finalizes Threshold Country Plan with Malawi
Washington, D.C. —Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and Malawi finalize a Threshold Country Plan for up to $20.9 million aimed at fighting corruption and improving fiscal management.
The Government of Malawi has acknowledged that corruption is a widespread and endemic problem that must be addressed in order to reduce poverty and to attract investment. Through its Threshold Country Plan, Malawi has asked for assistance to take on this challenge by, among other things, reducing by 75 percent the time it takes to process corruption cases, professionalizing public procurement, building capacity in government auditing functions, and strengthening independent media coverage.
"MCC congratulates the people and government of Malawi for their comprehensive results-oriented program,â€ said MCC Vice President Charles O. Sethness. "We applaud the leadership and steps President Mutharika has taken to root out corruption. Fighting corruption is an essential component in fighting poverty, and we look forward to working in partnership with Malawi to improve the policy environment necessary for poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.â€
MCC’s Threshold Country Program is designed to assist countries that are on the "threshold,â€ meaning that they are committed to undertaking the reforms necessary to improve policy performance in the indicators central to being named eligible for the MCC program. MCC works closely with USAID on threshold country plan development and implementation. In the case of Malawi, USAID will administer and oversee implementation, and will be assisted by the Departments of Treasury and Justice in implementing components of this plan.
Mr. Sethness added, "MCC thanks Ambassador Alan Eastham and his staff for their contributions and invaluable help throughout the process. We also want to thank our respected colleagues at USAID for their hard work in assisting Malawi with the development and implementation of its plan.â€
MCC has signed Compacts with Madagascar, Honduras, Cape Verde, Nicaragua, and Georgia, and approved a Threshold Agreement with Burkina Faso . In the 13 months since MCC began receiving country proposals, it has approved nearly $1 billion in assistance.
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.