WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2017 – At its quarterly meeting today, the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Board of Directors approved a $49 million threshold program with the Republic of Kosovo. The program will focus on two critical constraints to economic growth in the country: a lack of reliable electricity, and real and perceived weaknesses in rule of law. The program is expected to begin later this year.
“I am pleased to announce the MCC Board of Directors’ approval of the Kosovo Threshold Program,” said Acting MCC CEO Jonathan Nash. “Throughout the program development process, Kosovo has been a committed U.S. partner. We look forward to working with the government to support affordable electricity and strengthen institutions critical to economic growth and poverty reduction to benefit the people of Kosovo.”
As a country that gained independence in 2008, Kosovo is still developing government institutions that can provide critical services for its citizens. The Kosovo Threshold Program is designed to support the Government of Kosovo’s efforts to foster a more market-driven approach to lowering energy costs for households and businesses, encouraging energy efficiency, and developing new sources of electricity generation. The program will also help the Kosovo Government improve transparency and accountability, strengthen rule of law and anti-corruption efforts, and collect data to inform decision-making.
With approximately 30 percent of the population living below the national poverty line, Kosovo is one of the poorest countries in Europe. The threshold program – MCC’s smaller grant program – gives the agency an opportunity to engage with countries specifically on policy and institutional reform that supports growth, investment, and good governance. The agency’s grant investments help people lift themselves out of poverty, creating more stable, secure countries with new business opportunities abroad for American firms. Kosovo was selected by MCC’s Board of Directors as eligible to develop a threshold program in December 2016.
More from the June Board of Directors Meeting
In addition to approving the Kosovo Threshold Program, the Board received an update on compact development with the Government of Nepal. The proposed compact will address two of the country’s greatest constraints to economic growth: a shortage of electricity and the high cost of transportation.
Finally, representatives from MCC’s Department of Policy and Evaluation presented their latest findings in response to the Board’s direction to examine whether there are improvements that can be made to how the agency measures and evaluates a country’s commitment to controlling corruption while ensuring the indicator remains central to MCC’s overall eligibility criteria.
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 poor countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights. Learn more about MCC at www.mcc.gov.