Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 17, 2006

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

United States and Jordan Sign a $25 Million Millennium Challenge Corporation Grant to Support the Country's Economic and Political Reforms

Amman, Jordan A $25 million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Threshold agreement was signed by Jordanian Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Suhair Al-Ali, MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich, and USAID Mission Director Anne Aarnes. The program will focus on improving Jordans performance on MCCs Political Rights, Voice and Accountability, and Trade Policy indicators. Jordanian Prime Minister Dr. Marouf Bakhet and U.S. Ambassador David Hale observed the signing. The two year program seeks to broaden public participation in the political and electoral process, increase government transparency and accountability, and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of customs administration.

MCC congratulates the Jordanian people and their government for their commitment to political and economic reforms, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. The MCC Threshold grant will be used to support Jordans efforts to strengthen municipal governance and modernize customs administration. We look forward to working with the people of Jordan as they implement this ambitious program.

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 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 products of respected international institutions and national data; 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 for 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: Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Armenia, Vanuatu, Benin and Ghana. MCC is also actively engaging with other eligible countries to assist them in Compact development.

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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.