Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 17, 2008

Contact: 202-521-3850

Email: info@mcc.gov

$15.7 Million MCC Threshold Program with Albania Signed

Tirana,  Albania At a ceremony today   in Tirana, Albanian Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode and Millennium Challenge   Corporation (MCC) Deputy Vice President for Policy and International Relations   Sherri Kraham officiated at a ceremony celebrating the signing of   Albanias second MCC threshold   program worth over $15.7 million. This second, or Stage II, program builds upon   the significant successes of MCCs first threshold program with   Albania and looks to institutionalize key reforms in public administration   and judicial capacity building and to support anticorruption activities.  Albanias Prime Minister Sali   Berisha, United States Ambassador to Albania John Withers and United States   Agency for International Development Mission Director Roberta Mahoney also   participated in the ceremony.

It   is a great pleasure to celebrate progress underway here in Albania, as we mark   the successes of Albanias first threshold program and the start of its   second, stated Ms. Kraham. MCC is proud to   sign its first Stage II program with the government of Albania and   looks forward to   creating a strong foundation for fighting poverty and stimulating economic   growth, Ms. Kraham added.

MCCs   threshold programs are designed to assist countries that are on the threshold   of eligibility for the larger, longer-term Millennium Challenge Account grants,  or compacts.Threshold program assistance is used to help countries address the   specific policy areas for improvement indicated by their scores on 17   independent policy indicators in three categories Ruling Justly, Investing in   People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. These policy indicators are central   to the criteria and methodology for compact eligibility and are based upon   reports by a wide range 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.

MCCs   threshold program assistance signed to date totals$440 million in 19 countries:  Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic,  Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, So Tom and   Prncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and   Zambia.

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Millennium   Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government corporation designed   to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most   effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that   promote poverty reduction through economic growth.For more information, please   visit www.mcc.gov.