“As chair of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, it is wonderful for me to see the results of our work and our investment,” shared Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton last Sunday as she toured MCC projects in El Salvador that are improving the lives of the poor. I felt honored and proud to show Secretary Clinton just how MCC’s $461 million grant is reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth here in El Salvador, where a new president has just taken office following a remarkable democratic election. As the Secretary met with Salvadorans benefiting directly from MCC projects—from students to farmers to families assisted as electricity finally comes to their homes in the country’s Northern Zone—we see tangible proof of U.S. commitment to the region, and the effective role MCC’s smart assistance continues to play in changing the lives of the poor of El Salvador.
It was especially gratifying for Secretary Clinton to witness the signing of a public-private partnership (PPP) that will leverage MCC resources with those of the private sector and provide sustainable benefits for the poor. This contract is a true milestone, as it represents MCC’s first financing of a public-private partnership in infrastructure and serves as a model for similar partnerships in other MCC partner countries. By combining funds from MCC, the Government of El Salvador, and the company AES, this partnership will construct 1,300 kilometers of rural electrification lines, connections, and extensions to existing lines in the Northern Zone. This innovative PPP transaction will provide access to electricity for over 30,000 poor families in El Salvador’s Northern Zone.
In these challenging economic times, when every development dollar must count, MCC understands that we can do more by working with partners who share our vision for economic growth and prosperity for the world’s poor. Today, we all join Secretary Clinton in applauding how the private sector and MCC are setting an example in El Salvador by working together to benefit the poor in sustainable ways.