Speech

April 19, 2010

As Prepared by

El Salvador

Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes: Inauguration of the National Institute of San Ignacio, El Salvador

President Funes,
Distinguished guests,
Muchas gracias por su bienvenida a El Salvador! Que bello pais!

It is a pleasure and a privilege to be here to see firsthand the progress unfolding as a result of the partnership between El Salvador and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation.  This is my first trip to the Americas as MCC’s CEO.  It is fitting that I should come to a country that clearly understands what it takes to create a climate for growth and a culture of opportunity that will improve the lives of its citizens.

I welcome working with you, President Funes, and your Administration.  Your support for the compact’s projects and the principles of good governance create conditions for growth that will change the lives of El Salvador’s poorest people.

El Salvador is a model partner for MCC.  

  • Here in El Salvador, we are seeing how a country is leading its own development and implementing its own homegrown solutions.We are seeing results that are making sustainable improvements in the lives of the poor, both men and women.
  • We are seeing a commitment to sound policies of good governance that respect the rule of law, fight corruption, and transcend politics.  We welcome El Salvador’s ongoing efforts to improve its policies. In fact, we continue our dialogue with El Salvador about its commitment to investing in its people. The school we inaugurate today is proof of progress.

I commend the tremendous strides El Salvador has taken—and continues to take—to ensure the full and timely implementation of its 461 million dollar MCC compact to reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth.  I also commend the professionalism that FOMILENIO, and its Executive Director Jose Angel Quiros, continue to demonstrate in implementing the compact.  Your achievements, so far, confirm your dedication to the success of El Salvador’s MCC compact.

As a result of your work and dedication:

  • Rural residents in the North are benefitting from electrification lines and solar panels.  
  • More than 6,300 individuals in the tourism, artisan, dairy production, fruits and horticulture sectors are benefitting from MCC-funded technical assistance.
  • El Salvador’s Northern Zone will be better integrated with the rest of the country through the Northern Trans-national Highway.
  • Teachers and students are benefitting from training and scholarships that will equip them with the skills to succeed.

Today’s ceremony to open the National Institute of San Ignacio is another celebration of the milestones in education that have been made possible through El Salvador’s MCC compact.  

So far:

  • 20 middle technical schools have been rehabilitated and are re-opening.  Today, we mark the inauguration of this technical school.
  • 1,568 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students.
  • And, school teacher and administrator training, that began last November, will be expanded next month to encompass a total of 500 participants from Northern Zone schools.

The people of El Salvador decided to invest part of their MCC compact in education.  This decision reflects an understanding of the importance of education to a family’s well-being and a country’s economic prosperity. 

Sustainable economic development starts with human development.  Citizens need the skills and training to be productive members of society and contribute to a thriving economy.  By learning the right skills, Salvadorans are making a crucial investment in their abilities to:

  • find good paying jobs,
  • contribute to key sectors of the economy,
  • promote economic growth in their country, and
  • reduce poverty.

As someone who put myself through school—from high school to graduate school—I know firsthand how vital education is to a future of hope and opportunity.  That is why I am especially honored to be part of today’s ceremony.  Every investment in education is an investment in El Salvador’s future – and its economic growth. 

And, in our interdependent global community, growth in El Salvador contributes to the growth of the region and to the hemisphere.  From San Salvador to Washington, D.C., we are linked by a shared vision of prosperity for ourselves and our children.

We must build on the progress we are seeing unfold today, and I invite Salvadorans to stay engaged and to continue tracking results in the fight against poverty.

El Salvador and the United States share a very special bond of friendship that unites our citizens.  The MCC compact reflects that friendship.  Let us now re-commit to delivering on the full promise of every compact project, including investments in education and other vital community services.   Doing so will expand tangible opportunities for growth and prosperity that could transform the lives of those in the Northern Zone and throughout El Salvador for the better.

Muchas gracias y sigamos adelante!