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Celebrating 20 Years of Poverty-Reducing Growth

With strong bipartisan support, the Bush Administration conceptualized MCC in the early 2000s as a bold experiment to deliver U.S. foreign assistance through cost-effective, evidence-based project approaches.

Over nearly two decades, MCC has invested nearly $17 billion in infrastructure and policy reforms in health, education, power, agriculture, and transport across 47 countries, with programs expected to benefit over 380 million people. As the agency celebrates 20 years, we reflect on our achievements in combatting poverty, build on lessons learned, and set a path forward, allowing us to better engage with our partners for years to come.

Watch the January 23, 2024 event where MCC celebrated 20 years of innovative international development and the poverty-reducing benefits the agency has delivered to millions of people worldwide.

MCC's people are its power. Their work fuels the Agency's impact to deliver our mission to reduce global poverty through sustainable economic growth. Over the last 20 years, MCC’s targeted investments in well-governed countries have made a real and meaningful difference in the world.

The diverse perspectives and experiences of MCC’s people and partners drive economic prosperity—beginning from the selection process and continuing throughout the lifecycle of every program. Even through unexpected challenges, they keep the agency accountable and honest, making MCC the world’s most transparent bilateral development donor.

MCC’s trailblazers have strengthened our approach to how we do business. MCC staff values collaboration and learning— from how we amend internal processes to be more accountable to evolving the country development process to focus more on country ownership and integrating innovations like digital inclusion, blended finance, and climate mapping in our work. As a result of our collective work to make MCC its best, our partner governments, stakeholders, and the people of MCC further advance the global goal of poverty reduction through our unique model of country-led ownership.

Learn more about MCC’s unsung heroes.

MCC's PEOPLE

  • Dan Petrie

    In 2019, Dan Petrie was a critical part of the MCC team that led the expansion of MCC’s mandate to allow regional concurrent compacts, in addition to existing compact and threshold program programs that focus on greater regional economic growth. Currently, MCC is working with Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, and Cabo Verde to develop new regional compacts.

    Dan Petrie

    “Goods and services don’t stop at borders; regional investments can provide that extra oomph needed to accelerate economic growth.“

  • Jonathan Brooks

    When Jonathan Brooks joined MCC in 2005, the Agency was still learning to navigate its role in the U.S. Government’s foreign affairs toolkit and how to implement its principle of country ownership. Through the dedication and collaboration of MCC staff like Brooks, MCC has grown into the success it is today.

    Jonathan Brooks

    “At the time, MCC felt very much like a mash between a start-up, a brokerage firm, and an NGO, with driven and smart people working very hard to get programs designed and signed. People were relentlessly driving program design with significant freedom and responsibility.“

  • Gina Spiro

    After six years of country selections and program design and implementation, it was clear that MCC needed an organizing mechanism to bridge various departments, divisions, and teams. In 2010, Gina Spiro led the cross-agency initiative to develop MCC’s Policy on Policies— a clear, effective process for staff to amend, develop, and produce policies and processes at MCC.

    Gina Spiro

    “We were hungry for clarity and consistency. By creating a unified and collaborative process for Agency policy changes, we successfully outlined the methods for change, and created a single resource where all MCC policies could be found. The Policy on Policies transformed how we work together.”

  • Agnieszka Rawa

    As technology became increasingly common, MCC adapted to the changing world by supporting partner countries with their modernization efforts. In 2014, Agnieszka Rawa created MCC’s digital agenda, committing the agency to inclusive and sustainable measures in bridging the digital divide. As part of this effort, the Digifemmes program was launched, a collaboration between MCC, USAID, Microsoft, and other local partners- to provide Ivorian women entrepreneurs with the digital skills they need to grow their businesses.

    Agnieszka Rawa

    “Ensuring that women and excluded communities are at the center of digitalization is probably the most transformative investment that we could be making.”

As we forge ahead, the remarkable people of MCC will continue to enable the agency to be responsive to the rapidly changing development environment and navigate the increasing challenges of the climate crisis, rising food and energy costs, and threats to human rights and democracy.

EVENT

  • MCC@20: Celebrating 20 Years of Economic Growth

    Planet Word Museum, Washington D.C.

    January 23, 2024, 5:30-8:30 pm

    We’re excited to invite our dedicated (past and present) staff, esteemed stakeholders, partners, and beloved alumni to attend this invitation-only special event to celebrate MCC’s 20th anniversary.

    Join us as we acknowledge triumphs and key contributors during MCC's 20-year journey reducing poverty through economic growth.

In an interconnected and ever-changing world where complex crises such as armed conflicts, climate change, and inequality extend beyond borders, the United States remains committed to working with partner countries across the globe to meet their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

MCC works hand in hand with partner countries to deliver high-impact programs and policies to meet the unique needs of a country and its people. Through large, multi-year grants, MCC supports sustainable development and enables necessary investments in infrastructure for the agriculture, energy, transportation, and water sectors that drive economic growth.

With nearly 92% of our entire investment portfolio supporting partner countries in meeting their SDG ambitions, MCC is well positioned to accelerate progress on the 2023 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Learn more about MCC’s efforts to collaborate with our partner countries to achieve their SDGs.

  • The Electricity Transmission Project aims to increase electricity availability and reliability in Nepal’s power grid. It will expand and strengthen the high-voltage transmission network, support new hydropower investments, and promote increased power trading between Nepal and India.

  • Through investment in equipment and infrastructure, the project supports Nigérien farmers like Abou Abdou, Secretary General of the Hadin Kai Women’s Farming Cooperative, to move toward more commercialized irrigated agriculture as the foundation for sustained growth in rural incomes.

  • This new community health clinic in Samaria, Lesotho is one of 138 health centers rehabilitated or built under MCC’s Lesotho Compact, which strengthened the health care system and its ability to deliver quality services.

  • Pronacom

    The Education Project in MCC’s Guatemala Threshold Program aimed to improve the quality and relevance of secondary education and help teachers like Bayron Isaac Monzón Bautista to prepare Guatemalan youth to succeed in the labor market.

  • Millennium Foundation Kosovo

    MCC’s investments bolstered private-sector participation in the power sector, and created opportunities for women like Diba Celina, a fashion designer, to participate in the energy sector through both employment and entrepreneurship.

  • In the Mtendere township of Lusaka, Zambia, MCC constructed 8,637 new water connections, expanded access and consistent water supply.

  • Andrew Ladson, MCC

    The Benin Power Compact funded infrastructure investments in electricity distribution and off-grid electrification for poor and unserved households, including Towada Primary School students, who receive solar-rechargeable LED lights to help them continue their study in the evenings.

  • MCC’s partnership in Honduras enhanced the business skills, productivity, market access, and risk management practices of small and medium-sized horticultural farmers.

  • Jake Lyell for MCC

    The Transport Sector Project improved Tanzania’s road network, lowered transport costs, and enabled access to social services. The project also enhanced domestic linkages with neighboring Kenya and Zambia and upgraded the Mafia Island Airport for safer access.

  • In regions outside the capital of Tbilisi, Georgia, MCC rehabilitated key regional infrastructure to improve transportation for regional trade.

  • Jake Lyell for MCC

    The MCC-Jordan partnership transformed the nation’s water infrastructure. The As-Samra plant now treats 70% of Jordan’s wastewater, generates 78% of its energy from renewable sources and now has modern, eco-friendly sludge management practices.

  • Jake Lyell for MCC

    As part of the MCC-Indonesia partnership, junior electrical technicians Karmila and Verawati inspect and maintain solar panels on Karampuang Island, Indonesia. This partnership focused on expanding renewable energy, reducing land-based greenhouse gas emissions, and responsibly managing natural resources.

  • MCA-Philippines

    The MCC-funded road on Samar Island in the Philippines reduced transportation costs and provided additional economic opportunities to rural residents. Built to a high standard, the road withstood one of the strongest typhoons in history.

  • Jake Lyell for MCC

    The Morocco Compact modernized the country’s fishing sector, constructing 11 fish landing sites and port facilities, three marine reserves, five fish markets, and trained 933 mobile fish vendors.

  • MCC funded improvements in Namibia’s tourism infrastructure, management, and marketing while preserving natural resources that attract sustainable tourism.

  • MCC funded training programs focused on enhancing worker skills in cooking, tailoring, and electric installation. The project worked with key government and private sector institutions to improve education in El Salvador, aligning the skills of the workforce with the demands of the global economy.

  • Jake Lyell for MCC

    MCC’s Mozambique Compact will build climate-resilient roads and networks to improve transport infrastructure, to connecting rural communities to better access district capitals, markets, and social services. The Nampula-Rio Ligonha Road in Northern Mozambique, is currently under construction.

EVENT

  • MCC: Celebrating Partnerships and Advancing the Global Goals

    Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice, New York
    Monday, September 18, 6:00 pm–8:00 pm

    The United States remains committed to fully implementing the 2030 Agenda and all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to create a more sustainable and prosperous world. For nearly two decades, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) high-impact investments have supported countries in delivering on their SDG ambitions.

    Cohosted by the United Nations Foundation, join us for an action-oriented reception as we delve into the crucial role of country-led partnerships in achieving the UN Global Goals. This event aims to inspire and mobilize diverse stakeholders to collaborate, innovate, and drive results that contribute to a more equitable future for all.

Are you an MCC alum interested in the agency’s 20th Anniversary? Please email us at 20thanniversary@mcc.gov.

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