Washington, D.C.—The Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), Daniel W. Yohannes, joined Acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah von Zinkernagel to sign a Memorandum of Agreement that establishes a three-year partnership between the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, which administers the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and MCC. The partnership aims to help other countries to take the reins and empower themselves to confront development challenges like HIV/AIDS.
The interagency partnership is part of a larger effort to strengthen PEPFAR’s sustainability by building upon Country Health Partnerships, a PEPFAR effort to evolve its business model announced by Secretary of State John Kerry last September during the United Nations General Assembly. The Country Health Partnerships are transforming PEPFAR’s country assistance by focusing on shared responsibility and accountability, budget transparency and a commitment to strategically investing U.S. taxpayer funds by basing investment on learning and on the improvement of data collection and analysis.
MCC has a decade of experience with country-owned assistance programs. PEPFAR will draw upon MCC’s experience to inform enhanced approaches to the planning of PEPFAR resources.
Mr. Yohannes stated: “PEPFAR has done an extraordinary job responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and giving life-saving treatment to millions of people worldwide. MCC is proud to join with PEPFAR to support President Obama’s vision of an AIDS-free generation. MCC looks forward to working with PEPFAR to ensure that countries share responsibility and accountability to meet this global challenge. We believe that MCC’s country-owned and results-based approach to assistance will contribute significantly to the sustainability of PEPFAR programs.”
Deborah von Zinkernagel stated: “Country ownership is central to achieving sustainable HIV/AIDS responses and the ultimate goal of an AIDS-free generation. We are delighted to have the opportunity to draw upon MCC’s deep reservoir of experience as we seek to evolve how PEPFAR resources are strategically planned together with partner countries. This cross-pollination of ideas and lessons across U.S. Government agencies exemplifies an effective whole-of-government approach.”
Country ownership has been a centerpiece of MCC’s model since the agency’s inception. MCC engages countries as partners in the planning and implementation of its development assistance activities. Before MCC makes an investment, the agency works with the governments of partner countries to understand their binding constraints to economic growth, conduct widespread public consultations, develop detailed project proposals, and assess projected economic rates of return and project feasibility.
PEPFAR is the U.S. Government initiative to help save the lives of those suffering from HIV/AIDS around the world. Country ownership has been a policy pillar of PEPFAR for several years. The PEPFAR Partnership Frameworks, initiated in 2008, have been instrumental in reorienting PEPFAR’s business practices toward greater local ownership of HIV prevention, treatment, care, and programs to strengthen health systems. As the first five-year Partnership Frameworks draw to a close, PEPFAR is developing new approaches to strengthen the sustainability and country ownership of the HIV/AIDS response.
MCC and PEPFAR are two initiatives developed during the George W. Bush Administration. Both agencies are joining forces to modernize the Obama Administration’s country assistance partnerships in the area of HIV/AIDS.