WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 14 — At its quarterly meeting on December 13, 2016, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors selected Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka and Tunisia for new MCC compacts – five-year grants – to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty. For a country to be selected as eligible for MCC assistance, it must demonstrate a commitment to just and democratic governance, investments in its people, and economic freedom, as measured by third-party policy indicators on MCC’s annual scorecard.
“By partnering with developing countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting the rights of women and the rule of law, we are maximizing our ability to fight poverty and transform people’s lives,” MCC Chief Executive Officer Dana J. Hyde said. “We are pleased to announce the selection of Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia for new compact partnerships to advance widespread economic growth for the people and communities in these countries.”
Burkina Faso successfully completed its first MCC compact in July 2014 and has demonstrated clear policy improvement on its scorecard since the election of its new government in 2015. Sri Lanka, which was selected in December 2015 for a threshold program, will now transition into the compact program after showing continued improvement on its scorecard, including demonstrated progress on democratic rights. Tunisia is a new compact partner for MCC. The Board noted Tunisia’s strong scorecard performance and the opportunity to work with the country as it consolidates its recent democratic gains, takes on a significant policy reform agenda, and combats poverty and inequality challenges.
In both Burkina Faso and Sri Lanka, the Board recommended that MCC explore investments that address obstacles to economic growth – both domestic and regional – while recognizing the need for statutory authority to optimize regional impact.
As part of the annual selection process, the Board also reselected a number of countries in program development to continue developing their compacts, including Cote d’Ivoire, Mongolia, Nepal, and Senegal. The Board noted that it expects Mongolia to demonstrate improved performance in combatting corruption, and deferred a vote on the reselection of Lesotho for compact development until governance concerns have been addressed. The Board also deferred a vote on the reselection of the Philippines for compact development, subject to a further review of concerns around rule of law and civil liberties.
Finally, the Board selected Kosovo and Timor-Leste to develop MCC threshold programs, and reselected Togo to continue developing its threshold program. The smaller threshold program gives MCC the opportunity to engage with countries specifically on policy and institutional reform.
Find out more about MCC’s selection process on our Who We Fund web page.
###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.