WASHINGTON D.C. – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) announced the successful completion of its five-year compact with El Salvador. The $461 million compact was designed to reduce poverty through strategic investments in agricultural production, rural business development, transportation infrastructure, education and public services.
MCC’s work in El Salvador focused on economic development in the Northern Zone, where MCC financing has enabled Salvadorans to realize a long-held aspiration of opening up the Northern Zone to markets in neighboring countries and better integrating it with the rest of the country.
“I congratulate the people and government of El Salvador on the successful completion of the compact – the Northern Zone is now open for business and investment,” said MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes. “Through electrification, new roads, bridges, water and sanitation, and a trained work force, more than 700,000 people are expected to benefit from these investments over the next 20 years.”
The MCC-El Salvador compact is already delivering results:
• Based on the preliminary findings of an independent impact evaluation, within one year of receiving assistance, dairy farmers increased their annual productive income by an estimated $1,850 on average compared to those who did not receive assistance. These farmers sold a larger volume of milk and more secondary dairy products than farmers who did not receive assistance.
• More than 17,000 small holder farmers and other producers working on approximately 23,500 hectares received training, seeds, equipment and technical assistance to increase production of short-season vegetables and fruits, and improve pasture lands.
• Approximately 220 kilometers of roads, equivalent to the distance between Washington and Philadelphia, will be rehabilitated or newly constructed in northern El Salvador. This east-west highway in the north stretches close to the borders with Guatemala and Honduras, and the improvements are expected to reduce travel time by 50 percent – from 12 hours to six hours.
MCC CEO Daniel Yohannes will host a public event to celebrate the completion of the compact in Washington, DC on October 3, 2012 at the Inter-American Development Bank. Members of MCC’s El Salvador implementing agency, FOMILENIO, will attend the event, which will highlight the successes of the El Salvador compact. Representatives from the Embassy of El Salvador and the AES Corporation, which co-financed the construction and operation of 1,300 kilometers of new rural electrification lines in the Northern Zone, will also participate in the event.
MCC’s investments in El Salvador have strengthened its transportation sector, reinforced the agricultural sector, and taken strides toward improving El Salvador’s education system, providing El Salvador with the potential for poverty reduction through economic growth. By creating the right incentives, helping with the right policies and making sound supportive investments, MCC also helps to create a gateway to opportunity for American companies to do business in the region.
For more information about the MCC compact in El Salvador, please visit www.mcc.gov/elsalvador.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is an innovative and independent U.S. Government foreign aid agency that is helping lead the fight against global poverty through the promotion of sustainable economic growth. MCC is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom and investments in people. To learn more about MCC please visit www.mcc.gov