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Chisinau, MOLDOVA Moldova and the United States signed a $24.7 million Millennium Challenge Corporation Threshold Program agreement aimed at reducing government corruption.
The Government of Moldova initiated a national anti-corruption strategy in December 2004 with enactment of amendments to the criminal code and new laws on political party financing, conflict of interest, public procurement, and a code of ethics for public servants. Moldova will use MCC funding to address persistent corruption in the judiciary, the health care system, and the tax, customs and police agencies.
MCCs Threshold Program assists countries that are on the threshold of eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account assistance, known as Compact assistance, by helping to address specific policy weaknesses.
Moldova is undertaking significant policy reform, and the agreement signed today opens the way for additional progress in reducing corruption, said Ambassador John Danilovich, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
As a result of reforms already undertaken, MCCs Board of Directors named Moldova in November as one of three countries newly eligible for Compact assistance. Eligibility for such assistance is reserved for countries that score above the median on independently measured indices such as political and economic freedom, investment in education, control of corruption, respect for civil liberties, health care spending, fiscal and trade policies and judicial fairness. The Millennium Challenge Corporation was designed to reward good performance and also to create incentives for countries to adopt good policies that create a foundation for poverty reduction and economic growth.
While this is a significant achievement, said Ambassador Danilovich, it is vital that Moldova commit itself to successful implementation of the anti-corruption initiative under the Threshold Program while it pulls together its proposal for a full-scale development Compact, he added.
MCC Threshold Program funds will finance training and technical assistance to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to monitor government anti-corruption reform efforts and establish a public-private working group to issue recommendations to increase the role of mass media in monitoring anti-corruption reforms. In January 2006, an alliance of NGOs was formed to bring greater public attention to the issue of corruption. The Threshold Program will also support reforming and strengthening the Governments primary anti-corruption agency, the Center for Combating Economic Crimes and Corruption.
To date, the MCC Board has approved more than $286 million under the Threshold Program for eleven countries: Albania, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Moldova, Paraguay, Philippines, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zambia. In addition, MCC has signed Compacts totaling nearly $3 billion with 11 countries: Armenia, Benin, Cape Verde, El Salvador, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Madagascar, Mali, Nicaragua, and Vanuatu. MCC is also actively engaging with other eligible countries to assist them in Compact and Threshold program development.
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States Government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, 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 elimination of extreme poverty.