Speech

September 7, 2013

As Prepared by Cassandra Q. Butts, Senior Advisor

Mongolia

Remarks by MCC Senior Advisor Cassandra Butts in Mongolia

Thank You America Closure Ceremony with 1,000 Beneficiaries

Ministers,
Madam Ambassador,
MCA-Mongolia CEO Mr. Batbaatar,
Colleagues from MCA-Mongolia,
All the many beneficiaries of the MCC-Mongolia compact, 
Distinguished guests,

I am excited to join you for this special celebration of the successes of Mongolia’s $285 million compact with the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. It’s an honor to be here on behalf of MCC’s Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes, who sends his warmest congratulations to the people and Government of Mongolia on the completion of your MCC compact. 

The beneficiaries here today are proof that our partnership to reduce poverty through economic growth is creating new opportunities for a more hopeful future. In fact, MCC partners with a select group of low- income, but well-governed, countries that want to put their people on the path to growth. And that is exactly what the Mongolia-MCC partnership has done through our compact.

Our investment has strengthened property rights, improved health, reduced air pollution, built a major north-south road, and trained the workforce of tomorrow. Each component plays a role in generating economic growth. And, I believe the compact’s successful implementation results, in large part, from three key factors:

 First, it was grounded in major policy reforms. The right legal, policy and operational frameworks were put in place, including measures to sustain our investments. From reforms regarding vocational education to land to road maintenance, the right policies support our growth-enhancing investments.  

Second, there were clear links to private sector priorities. Building the right infrastructure or ensuring the sound health and modern training of Mongolian workers are more than the right things to do. They are essential for attracting the private sector, which is the ultimate engine of jobs and economic growth.

And, third, the focus has been on inclusive development that benefits both men and women, while also minimizing environmental impacts. From securing property and land rights to treating cervical cancer to installing energy-efficient stoves in women-headed households, MCA-Mongolia’s work has been a model for gender equality. Moreover, Mongolia identified and mitigated environmental risks, demonstrating national leadership in safely identifying, removing and disposing of hazardous materials like asbestos and lead during renovations. This work contributed to a national ban on asbestos in new construction.

 In all these ways, MCC has been proud to partner with Mongolia on the success of your compact. While I congratulate your immense professionalism and persistence in completing your MCC compact, I challenge you to mark this completion with a deep commitment to sustaining all the good this compact has achieved. The people of Mongolia—including the thousands of beneficiaries here today—deserve nothing less. Thank you so much. Bayarlalaa.