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Washington, D.C. In a signing ceremony today at the State Departments Benjamin Franklin room, Chief Executive Officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Ambassador John Danilovich, and Lesothos Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Mohlabi Kenneth Tsekoa signed a $363 million Compact designed to reduce poverty by promoting sustainable economic growth. MCCs Chair, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, officiated and witnessed the signing joined by Lesothos Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili.
The five-year Millennium Challenge Compact with Lesotho aims to increase water supplies for industrial and domestic use, to mitigate the devastating affects of poor maternal health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases, and to remove barriers to foreign and local private sector investment. By 2013, the Compact will benefit the majority of the population of 1.8 million due to its broad geographic scope and focus on sectors that impact most Basotho such as health and the provision of potable water.
MCC congratulates the people of Lesotho for reaching this important milestone, said MCC CEO Ambassador John Danilovich. The people of Lesotho have demonstrated their resolve to create hope and opportunity within their country by developing a results-oriented program which reflects their priorities for poverty reduction and growth. I commend Prime Minister Mosisilis leadership and his team led by Minister Thahane for their hard work. Lesotho is a valued partner in the fight to reduce poverty and MCC looks forward to building on this dynamic partnership throughout implementation.
Several components of the Lesotho program will directly benefit women, including a training and public awareness activity designed to realize gender equality in economic rights and a health systems strengthening activity that will improve the delivery of essential health services, largely maternal and child health and HIV/AIDS treatment. The Compact will also benefit the Basotho people by improving access to clean water and sanitation, improving access to credit and other financial services, modernizing the land administration system, and promoting sustainable water resource management.
Since its inception in 2004, MCC has signed Compacts totaling nearly $4 billion with 13 partner countries: Madagascar, Cape Verde, Honduras, Nicaragua, Georgia, Armenia, Vanuatu, Benin, Ghana, Mali, El Salvador, Mozambique, and Lesotho.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, 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 elimination of extreme poverty.