Turning the Sustainable Development Goals into Reality

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include 17 global goals adopted by world leaders to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030. MCC’s work to transform lives and create opportunity for people around the world helps drive international efforts to achieve the 17 SDGs and reduce poverty through economic growth. Since its creation in 2004, MCC has signed 33 compacts with 27 countries worth more than $11 billion. These compacts are expected to benefit about 175 million people globally. Through investments in projects that lead to economic growth — like power, clean water, land rights and roads — MCC helps people in its partner countries lift themselves out of poverty. Follow the storyline below to see examples of MCC’s work to make each of the 17 global goals a reality.

MCC and the White House Summit on Global Development

MCC’s development model is firmly focused on reducing poverty through economic growth, selectivity and incentivizing good governance, supporting country ownership, evidence-based decision-making, strong results measurement, and transparency and accountability. While MCC’s founding principles were seen as groundbreaking when the agency was created in 2004, today they comprise the core elements of the aid effectiveness agenda that guides U.S. development policy — a testament to MCC’s success. Read about some of the people and communities whose lives have been touched by MCC’s investments.

Progress in Senegal

MCC’s $540 million Senegal Compact, completed in September 2015, worked to unlock the country’s agricultural productivity and expand access to markets and services through critical infrastructure improvements in the Senegal River Valley and the Casamance region. The compact was designed to align with the country’s comprehensive long-term objectives of enhancing national growth and food security.

MCC Health Care Projects Around the World

There is a strong link between poverty and health. MCC works to mitigate the causes of poor health identified by partner countries as constraints to growth by educating communities on improved health, safety and nutrition practices.

MCC and Education

Poverty reduction and economic growth are possible when countries invest in educating their people. MCC works with partner countries to ensure that students obtain the knowledge and skills they need to get better jobs and improve their livelihoods.

MCC Champions Equality on International Women’s Day

Throughout all stages of its global investments, MCC looks to boost economic opportunities for women and girls and address gender inequalities that limit growth and poverty reduction. When women and men have equal opportunities to thrive, there’s a greater chance to create economic growth that can help people build better lives.

Water, Sanitation and Irrigation

MCC has invested $2.2 billion in clean water, sanitation and natural resource improvement projects in its partner countries. Access to clean water and adequate sanitation is fundamental to improving the livelihoods and well-being of the world’s poor. MCC’s water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) investments help reduce illness from water-borne diseases; irrigation investments support increased agricultural productivity and farmer incomes; and natural resource protection promotes long-term economic growth.

MCC and Power Africa

MCC has committed approximately $1.5 billion to support the goals of Power Africa — the U.S. Government’s effort to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa — through compacts and threshold programs that improve the quality and reliability of electricity and promote climate-smart measures, such as energy efficiency and renewable energy. Working hand-in-hand with partner countries and the private sector, MCC is helping lay the foundation for businesses to invest in power projects that will grow economies and reduce poverty across Africa.

In Mongolia, the Right Training for a More Successful Future

As part of MCC’s $285 million compact with Mongolia, completed in September 2013, thousands of workers received upgraded technical education and training that both meet international standards and are more responsive to labor market demands. Today, Mongolia is in a much better position to produce young graduates with skills in line with international standards and meet the demands of the country’s economy.

In El Salvador, a Highway to Education, Opportunity and Prosperity

From power and roads to ports and bridges, approximately 70 percent of MCC’s global portfolio has been invested in infrastructure. Since the 2012 opening of the MCC-funded Northern Transnational Highway in El Salvador’s mountainous northern zone, education, services and commerce are more accessible, and teachers, students and businesses have new opportunities.

Gender and Social Inclusion

Gender and social inequality are significant constraints to economic growth and poverty reduction. MCC is committed to promoting gender equality and social inclusion in its work, including through partnerships with civil society and the private sector, and integration of social and gender analysis across compacts. MCC’s investments are designed to provide women, the poor, and marginalized groups with improved access to infrastructure, land, healthcare, education, and productive roles within the economy.

MCC Paves the Way After Typhoon Haiyan

When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in 2013, MCC-funded work was already underway on a major road project on Samar Island as part of MCC’s $434 million compact with the Philippines. Thanks to careful planning and risk management, the road withstood one of the strongest typhoons in history and played a vital role in the region’s recovery.

Irrigation to Roads to Markets in Moldova

MCC’s five-year, $262 million compact with the Government of Moldova, completed in September 2015, worked to improve agricultural productivity and expand access to markets and services through critical infrastructure investments in the irrigation and road sectors. By helping farmers grow higher-value crops and better market their products to new regional and overseas markets, MCC positioned the Moldovan economy for sustainable growth.

To Reduce Poverty, Developing Countries Are Addressing Climate Change

A changing climate is not just a threat to the environment; it is a threat to people’s livelihoods. Development programs that don’t address the risks associated with climate change can leave the poor particularly vulnerable. MCC is committed to helping its partner countries address climate change by focusing on issues that can be the most difficult for developing countries to tackle, including climate resilient infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and food security, public policy, land rights management, and energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Recharging the River and Growing Incomes in Jordan

Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world. As part of a $275 million compact with Jordan, to be completed in December 2016, MCC invested $93 million to expand the As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant. The expansion increases the amount of treated water released into the Zarqa River, providing an additional source of irrigation water for many farmers, while at the same time helping to restore the environmental integrity of the river, which has been severely degraded by industrial and other activities.

Planting Trees in Malawi for a Sustainable Future

Through its $350 million compact with the Government of Malawi, MCC is helping to reduce costly disruptions to Malawi’s hydropower generation by mitigating weed infestation and excessive sedimentation in the Shire River Basin, and implementing better environmental and natural resource management in upstream areas. Thanks to MCC’s investment in Malawi, Annie — who lives in the Shire River watershed — was able to stop selling charcoal from burning trees and develop a more sustainable source of income selling tree seedlings.

Democratic Rights Are Crucial to International Development

One of MCC’s core principles is that aid is most effective in countries with a sound commitment to accountable and democratic governance. That’s why MCC places a strong focus on democracy when selecting partner countries, which creates incentives for democratic reform. While MCC’s compacts are designed to reduce poverty through economic growth, they also contribute to strengthening democratic institutions and processes.

MCC’s Public-Private Partnership Platform

Development needs around the world will not be met by foreign assistance alone. Official development assistance must increasingly catalyze other resources to finance development — including private sector investment. MCC’s Public-Private Partnership (P3) Platform, announced in July 2015, is doing just that. The P3 Platform includes a commitment of $70 million in MCC grants to support public-private partnerships in MCC partner countries that is expected to spur $1 billion in private sector investments within five years.