MCC and Sierra Leone Celebrate End of $44 Million Threshold Program, Advancing Economic Growth

For Immediate Release

March 30, 2021

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, (March 30, 2021) – Today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of Sierra Leone celebrate the successful end of the $44.4 million MCC-Sierra Leone Threshold Program, a partnership to reform the water and electricity sectors in Sierra Leone and advance economic growth.

In Sierra Leone, rapid urbanization and aging infrastructure contribute to frequent water and power outages, especially around the capital of Freetown. The MCC-Sierra Leone Threshold program improved access to safe water in Freetown by investing in water management and installing new pipes and water kiosks. The newly constructed water kiosks are providing safe, accessible, and sustainable water to 15,000 residents, while also significantly reducing the time spent by community members on water collection. Community members can put these time savings back into the community, allowing children to attend school or allowing parents to focus on activities that generate income.

In the electricity sector, the MCC-Sierra Leone Threshold Program improved how the sector utilities operate and plan for future needs and built sustainability into the foundation of the work. By increasing national capacity through improvements to transparency measures and encouraging accountability, a foundation has been laid to sustain the investment. A newly
developed sector roadmap will help guide further development and encourage private investment.

“The MCC-Sierra Leone Threshold program has instituted reforms that are critical to reducing waterborne illnesses, reducing time spent on water collection, allowing students to have electricity so they can study at night and business can grow and thrive. The Government of Sierra Leone has been a committed partner to the success of the threshold program, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration to develop an MCC compact,” said Mahmoud Bah, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MCC. “Taken together, the reforms we jointly worked on and the infrastructure we built lay the groundwork for sustainable economic growth at a critical moment in Sierra Leone’s history.”

MCC’s threshold programs advance policy reforms and strengthen institutions to address the most binding constraints to economic growth in countries that are not eligible yet for MCC’s larger investments, called compacts. In 2020, Sierra Leone passed the MCC Scorecard for a second year in a row and was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors to develop a compact. MCC and the Government of Sierra Leone are now working together to design a compact that will aim to further reduce poverty and increase economic growth for the people of Sierra Leone.