London19 February 2008The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) signed a first-of-its-kind Memorandum of Understanding between the two organizations which will increase coordination and make their poverty reduction efforts more effective in Africa and throughout the globe. MCC CEO Ambassador John J. Danilovich and the Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander MP signed the memorandum at DFIDs London Headquarters as the culmination of a series of working-level meetings between the two agencies officials.
Focusing initially on Africa, the memorandum identifies practical areas for cooperation on the ground in countries in which both the US and UK are engaging in poverty reduction, including Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. The agreement builds on existing cooperation to identify new areas where collaboration between the two organizations can better help partner countries and improve development practice, such as data and statistics sharing, coordinated approaches to issues such as environmental protection, infrastructure projects, transparency in large-scale procurements, rigorous evaluation of aid effectiveness, future staff exchanges, and others.
As innovative donors, we believe that countries must direct their own development and that growth and good governance are critical if poverty reduction is to be long-term and sustainable. Our taxpayers have entrusted us to help make an improvement in the lives of the worlds poorest people. Finding practical things we can do together, on-the-ground, to leverage our ideas, people and resources makes sense and is a smart way to do business. I am thrilled that DFID and the MCC have taken their friendship to a higher level which will benefit those who need it most our partner countries in places like Africa and around the globe, said Ambassador Danilovich.
The UK’s International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander added, ”“It makes sense that donors working in the same developing countries to the same ends should collaborate where possible. That’s why I’m pleased that we’ve agreed to combine the knowledge and strengths of DFID and MCC in areas such as education, anti-corruption and the environment in the countries where we both work. It will help ensure that our programmes are more effective, better organised and that donor presence is less burdensome on country governments.”“
The activities outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding are a strong signal of both organizations commitment to the spirit of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and to helping the developing world achieve the Millennium Development Goals. These efforts will focus on helping developing countries build their own capacity to collect and use data, to evaluate environmental risks, and to assess their constraints to growth. The memorandum provides a solid framework for in-country cooperation to take place between MCC and DFID in a number of sectors including education, water and sanitation, transportation and governance, especially related to transparency and anti-corruption.
About MCC: Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government corporation designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth. For more information about MCC, please visit www.mcc.gov.
About DFID: The Department for International Development is leading the British Government’s fight against world poverty. For more information, visit http://www.dfid.gov.uk.
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