Press Release

MCC Showcases the Importance of Country-led Development

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman greets directors from 26 MCC countries

For Immediate Release

June 25, 2009

June 25, 2009,

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman greets directors from 26 MCC countries

Washington, D.C.  The U.S. Governments Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) hosted a reception on Capitol Hill to introduce Members and staff to MCA CEOs, deputies, and compact development leaders from the 26 countries implementing or developing MCC-funded poverty reduction programs. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman welcomed the MCC partners and assembled diplomats and applauded their leadership in implementing and directing unique and innovative foreign assistance projects. Also in attendance were representatives from NGOs, the development community, private sector and other U.S. Government agencies.

Practicing the core principles of country ownership and aid effectiveness, MCC expects partner countries to lead the implementation of their programs. Each country has established an accountable entity, or Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), to assume this responsibility, led by an MCA CEO. These CEOs are in Washington this week for MCC University, a unique gathering that focuses on maximizing best practices in economic development among local partners. MCC University encourages MCA CEOs to exchange knowledge with each other in the areas of compact development, implementation, management, procurement, financial reporting, and monitoring and evaluation. By increasing knowledge and capacity in these areas, MCC and its partner countries are building a network of best practices and effectively developing and implementing a wide range of anti-poverty programs.

One of the pillars of MCCs innovative model for delivering development assistance is country ownershipthrough country-led, country-owned, country-driven programs to fight poverty, said Rodney Bent, MCC Chief Executive Officer. I am pleased that representatives from all of our partner countries are here with us—they are examples of MCCs belief in and commitment to local solutions and capacity as the best way to create growth.

I also want to thank Chairman Berman for his comments at the reception and his dedication to fighting poverty and reforming foreign aid, Mr. Bent said. We are very proud of the fact that, as the chairman noted, the MCC approach embodies many of the reforms being discussed in context of the broader debate for effective foreign assistance.

MCCs model of development assistance enables partner countries to identify and implement their own development priorities after extensive consultations with their civil societies. MCC supports the open lines of collaboration among its partner countries, and uses lessons learned and best practices to continuously improve its programs. Poverty reduction demands a global response among partners, and MCC and MCAs have built a support network to train and build capacity that facilitates effective poverty reduction through sustainable economic growth.

The MCA CEOs attending MCC University represent the following countries: Armenia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Colombia, El Salvador, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Indonesia, Jordan, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nicaragua, Philippines, Senegal, Tanzania, Vanuatu, and Zambia.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and help eliminate extreme poverty. For more information about MCC, visit