U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation Reselects Sri Lanka to Continue Grant Programme

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Board of Directors of the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) reselected Sri Lanka for its grant programme at its meeting on December 19. This will enable MCC to continue developing its compact programme with the government of Sri Lanka for which Sri Lanka was selected a year ago, in December 2016.

MCC compact programmes are large, five-year grants for selected countries that meet MCC’s eligibility criteria of good governance, economic freedom and investment in their citizens. The selections are based on performance indicators compiled by MCC in an annual scorecard for countries under consideration.

As required by MCC procedure, MCC reselects countries already in compact development as part of its annual selection process. Sri Lanka’s reselection bears testament to the country’s continued progress on policy performance and reforms, including on democratic rights and control of corruption, and the strength of the government’s partnership with MCC since 2015. MCC’s recognition of Sri Lanka’s progress provides further impetus to the government’s political and economic reforms aimed at achieving sustainable peace and economic prosperity.

Since being selected eligible for a compact programme in December 2016, the government of Sri Lanka and MCC have been working together to develop projects with the aim of fighting poverty and promoting economic opportunity for the Sri Lankan people. In July, MCC announced $7.4 million in funding to support the development of the compact, including identifying and analyzing specific projects for potential investment. This amount is in addition to the total MCC compact funding amount, which is to be determined. Based on an analysis of the constraints to economic growth, Sri Lanka and MCC are currently conducting due diligence on potential projects in the transport and land sectors.

In December 2015, Sri Lanka was selected for an MCC Threshold Programme which are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to MCC’s eligibility criteria, but are firmly committed to improving policy and performance. With Sri Lanka’s selection for a Compact Programme only a year later, MCC and Sri Lanka began work to transition into this much larger programme.

Created by the U.S. Congress in 2004 with bipartisan support, MCC is a unique U.S. agency that operates on the principle of delivering assistance on the basis of a long-term consultative partnership with recipient countries. Country ownership and country-led solutions for reducing poverty through sustainable economic growth are the underlying principles on which MCC grants are provided. Grants are designed to complement other U.S. and international development programmes, and to create an enabling environment for private sector investment. MCC holds partner countries accountable through rigorous oversight, monitoring and evaluation.

MCC’s Board of Directors is chaired by the Secretary of State. Its members include the Secretary of the Treasury, the U.S. Trade Representative, the Administrator of USAID, the Chief Executive Officer of MCC and four private sector representatives. The Board members are appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

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