WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 2016 – At its quarterly meeting on March 28, MCC’s Board of Directors voted to suspend MCC’s partnership with the Government of Tanzania. The Board also discussed the agency’s ongoing efforts to examine the changing landscape of global poverty and its implications. In addition, the Board received an update on compact implementation in Jordan, where the program is in its final year.
At the meeting, the MCC Board determined that the Government of Tanzania has engaged in a pattern of actions inconsistent with MCC’s eligibility criteria and voted to suspend the agency’s partnership with the Government of Tanzania. MCC will, therefore, cease all activities related to the development of a compact with Tanzania. Read the Board’s statement.
During its December 2015 meeting, the Board had deferred a vote on the reselection of Tanzania for compact eligibility, citing concern over the nullification of October 2015 election results in Zanzibar and the need for a prompt, fair, and peaceful conclusion of the electoral process. The Board also sought assurances from the Government of Tanzania that the Cybercrimes Act of 2015 would not be used to limit freedom of expression and association.
On March 20, 2016, Tanzania moved forward with a new election in Zanzibar that was neither inclusive nor representative. At the same time, Tanzania has taken no measures to ensure freedom of expression and association are respected in the implementation of the Cybercrimes Act. Accordingly, the Board suspended MCC’s partnership with MCC, reaffirming its expectation that MCC partner countries maintain a commitment to upholding democratic principles and protecting individual rights.
The Changing Landscape of Poverty
MCC is required to use Gross National Income (GNI) per capita to identify the low- and lower-middle income countries it can consider for potential eligibility each year. The Board received a briefing on the evolution in the nature and location of poverty that has taken place over the past decade, including the shifting of poverty to more middle income countries, and the emerging body of research that explores different ways of measuring and identifying poverty. Board members expressed their support for MCC to further explore this issue and come back with additional insights on possible implications for the agency. Read more about the changing landscape of poverty in MCC’s new strategic plan – NEXT.
MCC’s resident country director in Jordan presented an update to the Board on the Jordan Compact, a $275 million investment designed to increase the supply of water available to households and businesses and improve the efficiency of water delivery, wastewater collection, and wastewater treatment. Jordan is one of the driest countries in the world, and most households receive water only once or twice a week and depend on expensive outside sources of water to meet their basic needs.
The compact includes a major expansion to Jordan's largest wastewater treatment facility through a public-private partnership. The plant had been nearing capacity, and the new expansion increases treatment capacity by one-third, better positioning the country not only to accommodate its people, but also to meet new demand from the recent influx of Syrian refugees.
In addition to infrastructure, outreach and training programs are providing women in Jordan with new skills and job opportunities in plumbing that enable them to increase their incomes and, at the same time, help their community.
Read more about MCC’s Jordan Compact.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an innovative and independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004, with strong bipartisan support, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance, investments in people and economic freedom. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.