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MCC celebrates 20 years of effective international development

For Immediate Release

January 23, 2024

WASHINGTON (January 23, 2024) —The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its innovative international development model, and the poverty-reducing benefits the agency has delivered to millions of people worldwide.

The Bush Administration signed MCC into law on January 23, 2004, as an experiment to test cost-effective, and data-driven methods to address global poverty. It was a small U.S. government agency staffed by development visionaries who were passionate about impactful solutions to drive global change. The approach was unprecedented – partner with low-income countries that share a commitment to good governance, democracy, and investing in their people; support sustainable country-led solutions to their greatest constraints to economic growth; and use data to drive all decision-making. The experiment worked.

“MCC has grown into a special place,” said MCC CEO Alice Albright. “MCC sees opportunity where others see challenges; this organization gives grants, when others give loans; and this team believes in the potential of a better tomorrow, even when times are tough. There is no other international development agency in the world that lives the values of selectivity, transparency, and country ownership the way MCC does, and the agency’s results over the past twenty years show just how powerful that model is in practice.”

Since 2004 MCC has delivered nearly $17 billion in aid to 47 low-income and lower-middle-income countries across six continents, with programs lifting more than 300 million people out of poverty, including:

  • Nearly half a million farmers trained, thousands of commercial and civic enterprises assisted, and nearly $100 million in agriculture and rural loans disbursed;
  • Thousands of kilometers of roads completed;
  • Nearly half a million students participating in MCC-funded educational activities, tens of thousands of instructors trained or certified through MCC-supported activities, and over a thousand educational facilities constructed;
  • Hundreds of millions of liters per day of water production capacity added and nearly one hundred thousand people trained in hygiene and sanitary social and behavior change;
  • Billions invested in climate-resilient infrastructure; and
  • Deepening the agency’s commitment to inclusion and gender.

MCC is changing improving lives and reducing poverty around the world - from the technical education centers that help Moroccan women gain relevant and in-demand job skills, to the groundbreaking water system that is increasing the water supply to Mongolia’s capital city by 80%.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.