Tirana, Albania At a ceremony today in Tirana, Albanian Minister of Finance Ridvan Bode and Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Deputy Vice President for Policy and International Relations Sherri Kraham officiated at a ceremony celebrating the signing of Albanias second MCC threshold program worth over $15.7 million. This second, or Stage II, program builds upon the significant successes of MCCs first threshold program with Albania and looks to institutionalize key reforms in public administration and judicial capacity building and to support anticorruption activities. Albanias Prime Minister Sali Berisha, United States Ambassador to Albania John Withers and United States Agency for International Development Mission Director Roberta Mahoney also participated in the ceremony.
It is a great pleasure to celebrate progress underway here in Albania, as we mark the successes of Albanias first threshold program and the start of its second, stated Ms. Kraham. MCC is proud to sign its first Stage II program with the government of Albania and looks forward to creating a strong foundation for fighting poverty and stimulating economic growth, Ms. Kraham added.
MCCs threshold programs are designed to assist countries that are on the threshold of eligibility for the larger, longer-term Millennium Challenge Account grants, or compacts.Threshold program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy areas for improvement indicated by their scores on 17 independent policy indicators in three categories Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. These policy indicators are central to the criteria and methodology for compact eligibility and are based upon reports by a wide range of respected international institutions and national data. Each indicator was selected based on its relationship to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor, and its objectivity.
MCCs threshold program assistance signed to date totals$440 million in 19 countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Guyana, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyz Republic, Malawi, Moldova, Niger, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, So Tom and Prncipe, Tanzania, Uganda, Ukraine and Zambia.
Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government corporation 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 www.mcc.gov.