Press Release

For Immediate Release

October 26, 2006

Contact: 202-521-3880

Email: info@mcc.gov

MCC Board of Directors Approves $55 Million Grant for Indonesia to Improve Childhood Immunization, Curb Corruption

Washington, DC A $55 million grant approved today by the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) will assist Indonesia with its national childhood immunization strategy and with efforts to curb official corruption.

The program, proposed by the government of Indonesia following last years inclusion of the country in the MCC Threshold Program, is designed to immunize at least 80 percent of children under the age of one for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis and immunize 90 percent of children for measles. The Indonesian program will expand the work of health care providers in hard-to-reach areas of the island nation where immunization rates are relatively low.

The program will also fund an anti-corruption program to reduce instances of public corruption. Furthering a number of reforms that the government has already begun, the program will help Indonesia to increase judicial transparency, increase its capacity to fight money laundering, prosecute more cases of public corruption, and reduce opportunities for corruption by modernizing public procurement systems.

The program reflects Indonesias commitment to improve the health of its children and reduce public corruption, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich The government of Indonesia has made the fight against corruption one of its top priorities with efforts to make government institutions more transparent, accountable, and ethical, which includes the prosecution of high-level officials accused of corruption.

The MCC Threshold Program is designed to assist countries on the threshold of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) eligibility for Compact assistance. Threshold countries must demonstrate a commitment to undertaking reforms designed to address specific policy weaknesses that are central to MCA eligibility criteria and methodology.

MCC measures policies in all eligible and candidate countries using 16 independently measured and transparent benchmarks (indicators), which have a demonstrated link to poverty reduction and economic growth. These indicators measure countries demonstrated commitment to policies that promote, among other things, political and economic freedom, investments in education and health care, control of corruption, and respect for civil liberties and the rule of law.

MCC was designed to reward good performance and also to create incentives for countries to adopt good policies that create a foundation for poverty reduction and economic growth. Many countries are doing the hard work of policy reform to improve their chances of becoming an MCA-Compact eligible country by fighting corruption, ramping up investments in health and education, and adopting micro- and macro-economic reforms, Ambassador Danilovich added.

To date, MCC has approved more than $286 million under the Threshold Program for eleven countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Moldova, Paraguay, Philippines, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zambia. In addition, MCC has signed Compacts totaling more than $2.1 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.