MCC Board of Directors Selects New Bilateral Compacts, Threshold Programs, Eligible Countries for Concurrent Compacts (December 13, 2018)

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 12, 2018 – At its quarterly meeting, the U.S.
Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors met to
select countries eligible for MCC assistance, which is designed to spur economic
growth and reduce poverty.
The Board selected Indonesia, Malawi and Kosovo for bilateral compacts – MCC’s
five-year grant program. The Board also selected Ethiopia and Solomon Islands for
MCC threshold programs – the agency’s smaller grant program focused on policy
and institutional reform.
This year, for the first time, MCC’s Board directed the agency to exercise its new
authority under the AGOA and MCA Modernization Act by selecting countries as
eligible to develop concurrent compacts for regional investments.
“I am pleased to announce new MCC compact partnerships with Indonesia, Malawi,
and Kosovo, and new threshold partnerships with Ethiopia and Solomon
Islands,” MCC Chief Operating Officer and Head of Agency Jonathan
Nash said. “The Board also directed MCC to explore regional investment
opportunities in five of its current compact partners in West Africa.”
MCC was created in 2004 as a new and different model of development assistance –
one focused on reducing poverty through economic growth. Built on the lessons of
decades of development experience, MCC provides time-limited grants to
developing countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from
fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights, as evaluated on MCC’s
scorecard. MCC takes a business-like approach, with bedrock commitments to data,
accountability, and evidence-based decisions. MCC’s investments are improving the
lives of millions of people around the world.
MCC’s Board selected Indonesia to develop a new compact in recognition of the
progress Indonesia has made in the fight against corruption, strengthening
democratic institutions, maintaining sound economic policies, and investing in its
people. Development assistance for Indonesia supports the Trump Administration’s
Indo-Pacific economic strategy and promotes peace, stability, and prosperity as well
as U.S. business engagement.
MCC’s Board also selected Malawi to develop a new compact. Despite being the
third poorest country in the world, Malawi is one of the strongest performers on
MCC’s scorecard in the candidate pool.
MCC’s Board selected Kosovo to develop a new compact. Kosovo’s current MCC
threshold program will provide a solid foundation for a compact.
MCC’s Board selected Ethiopia to develop a threshold program. The decision to
develop a threshold program underscores the Board’s recognition of the recent
reforms made by the Government of Ethiopia this year.
Solomon Islands
MCC’s Board selected Solomon Islands to develop a threshold program, which also
supports the Trump Administration’s Indo-Pacific economic strategy.
Concurrent Compacts for Regional Investments
The AGOA and MCA Modernization Act, signed by President Trump in April 2018,
authorizes MCC to enter into concurrent compacts to promote cross-border
economic integration, trade, and collaboration. The Board directed MCC to explore
regional investment opportunities in five of its current compact partners in West
Africa. The five countries selected as eligible are Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire,
Ghana, and Niger. The Board decision allows MCC to work with each of the
countries to determine if there are projects that meet MCC’s strict investment
criteria as well as evaluate the countries’ ability to work with MCC and a partner
country on a regional investment. There is no guarantee a country selected as
eligible will be granted a concurrent compact.
MCC’s Board of Directors reselected Burkina Faso, Lesotho, Timor-Leste, and
Tunisia for continued compact development and The Gambia for continued
threshold program development. The Board reviewed policy performance for all
country partners in compact and threshold development.

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