Press Release

MCC and InterAction host a Public Forum on Margins of U.N. General Assembly

For Immediate Release

September 22, 2009

Country Led Development essential for smarter aid

Washington, D.C.  Today the U.S Governments Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and InterAction hosted a public dialogue on Country-Led Development: Proven Partnerships in Fighting Global Poverty during this important week of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York. The symposium featured a high-level discussion among world leaders on the importance of country-led development and country ownership as keys to meaningful and impactful poverty reduction and development assistance.

Joining in the discussion were President Blaise Compaor of Burkina Faso, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, Prime Minister Sali Berisha of Albania, Foreign Minister Jose Brito of Cape Verde, Minister of Mining and Political Affairs Alpha Kanu of Sierra Leone, and President of Africare Julius E. Coles.

MCC Acting Chief Executive Officer, Darius Mans, opened the discussion stating that MCC provides technical assistance to our partners, as needed, but day-to-day program implementation and management is country-led, not MCC-led.We cannot have sustainability without country ownership and todays dialogue highlights this important principle.I am thrilled to join InterAction in welcoming such a prestigious group to talk about this critical component of poverty reduction

The U.S. Government and civil society organizations have joined the international community in recognizing country-led development as a best practice in delivering smart aid.MCC partner countries have been putting this concept to work in countries around the world by designing, developing and implementing their grant programs, which are focused on reducing poverty through economic growth.

Sam Worthington, CEO of InterAction, the largest coalition of NGOs active in fighting global poverty said, We applaud the country-led development structure that the MCC employs, which ensures government input and guidance in program development, enhances aid effectiveness, and requires civil society be consulted in the beginning of the process. It is our hope that this event signals the beginning of an enhanced tripartite relationship between host countries, donor countries and civil society.

# # #

Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.For more information, please visit
InterAction is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international development and humanitarian nongovernmental organizations. Our 180 members operate in every developing country, working with local communities to overcome poverty and improve quality of life.