Washington, D.C.The Board of Directors of the U.S. Governments Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, approved a five-year, $540 million compact grant to the Republic of Senegal to reduce poverty through economic growth. The compact will focus on road rehabilitation and food security initiatives in some of the poorest regions of Senegal.
On behalf of MCC, I want to congratulate the people and Government of Senegal for developing an innovative compact that will make a tremendous difference in reducing poverty through economic growth by bolstering food security and transportation connectivity, said Darius Mans, Acting MCC Chief Executive Officer. The Senegalese have laid out a clear vision of improving the quality of their lives through a results-oriented plan. MCC welcomes the opportunity to work together to achieve these compact goals.
The compact will invest in rehabilitating roads in the northern and southern regions of Senegal. Improving these roads is vital to supporting the agricultural sectorby creating reliable, cost-effective, and time-saving means to transport locally-produced agricultural products to domestic and international markets year-round. In addition to getting producers and consumers to markets, these roads will provide access to essential community services, like schools and hospitals.
The compact also will invest in a strategic irrigation and water resources management project. This project will develop up to 10,500 hectares of additional irrigated land in the Senegal River Valley by increasing the volume of irrigation water. This work will prevent the abandonment of 26,000 hectares of existing irrigable land by rehabilitating drainage canals and expanding secure land tenure. The project will maximize the potential of the irrigated zone by increasing crop yields. For a country that currently imports 70 percent of its rice, the irrigation project will move Senegal an important step closer to greater food security.
MCC anticipates signing the compact with the Republic of Senegal on September 16, 2009. The compact will be signed by Senegal Minister of Finance and Economy Abdoulaye Diop and Acting MCC CEO Darius Mans at the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. Senegal President Abdoulaye Wade and Secretary Clinton will preside at the signing.
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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 www.mcc.gov.