WASHINGTON, D.C., September 12, 2017 – The U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the Government of the Republic of Kosovo today signed a $49 million threshold program to spur economic growth and reduce poverty in Kosovo. Kosovo President Hashim Thaçi and U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel of New York joined MCC Acting CEO Jonathan Nash for the signing ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The Kosovo Threshold Program will support the Government of Kosovo’s efforts to lower energy costs for households and businesses, and improve transparency and accountability.
“MCC helps governments deliver critical services to their citizens and connect some of the world’s poorest people to jobs, markets, and opportunities — increasing stability and driving growth,” MCC Acting CEO Jonathan Nash said. “The U.S. Government, through MCC, will work with the Government of Kosovo to implement policy and institutional reforms that increase transparency and strengthen the country’s energy sector.”
“Kosovo is moving along the path toward Euro-Atlantic integration, and this new partnership will help push the country toward that goal,” U.S. Congressman Eliot Engel said. “The MCC threshold program is focused on areas critical to Kosovo’s future, and it will speed investments in energy efficiency and support efforts to promote effective, accountable governance. This day was a long time coming, and I’m proud to stand with Kosovo as it enters this important new chapter.”
Kosovo is one of the newest countries in the world, and with 30 percent of the population living below the poverty line, it is also one of the poorest countries in Europe. Since gaining its independence in 2008, Kosovo continues to develop government institutions that can provide critical services to its citizens.
The Kosovo Threshold Program will focus on reforms in two critical areas identified as constraints to growth following a joint economic analysis: a lack of reliable electricity, and real and perceived weaknesses in rule of law.
The Reliable Energy Landscape Project is designed to encourage investments in household energy efficiency and support the adoption of less expensive sources of heating. In Kosovo, banks are often reluctant to finance energy projects. This effort will work to identify and overcome barriers to financing for independent power producers in Kosovo. It will also support women’s employment and entrepreneurship in the energy sector.
The Transparent and Accountable Governance Project is designed to increase publicly available and accessible data on the judiciary, the environment, and the labor force to foster more collaborative relationships among government, civil society, and the private sector. The project includes establishing public access to an electronic case management information system, which will allow plaintiffs and defendants to know where their cases stand, as well as making a variety of court data publicly available. The project also includes an Open Data Challenge to foster productive partnerships between government and civil society and support innovation in data use and analysis.
MCC’s time-limited grant investments promote economic growth and help people lift themselves out of poverty, creating more stable, secure countries with new business opportunities. The threshold program is MCC’s smaller grant program focused on advancing policy and institutional reform that helps partner countries better serve their people. New procurement and business opportunities associated with the Kosovo Threshold Program will be announced in the coming months. Visit the Work With Us section of MCC’s website to learn more: www.mcc.gov/work-with-us.
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.