US Millennium Corporation continues grants to Sri Lanka

For the promotion of the economic growth and reduce poverty, creating more stable, secure country with new business opportunities abroad, , the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors decided to reselects Sri Lanka for Its grant program, at meeting held Yesterday.

The Sri Lankan embassy describe this re-selection 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.

At its quarterly meeting on 19th December, the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors selected Timor-Leste for a compact– MCC’s five-year grant program designed to spur economic growth and reduce poverty and the MCC Board of Directors re-selected Sri Lanka.

Announcing decision of the Corporation, the MCC Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Nash said “MCC investments promote economic growth and reduce poverty, creating more stable, secure countries with new business opportunities abroad.”

In its statement, the Sri Lankan Embassy says “Since being selected eligible for a compact program 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 USD 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 Program which is 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 Program only a year later, MCC and Sri Lanka began work to transition into this much larger program.

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 programs, and to create an enabling environment for private sector investment. MCC holds partner countries accountable through rigorous oversight, monitoring and evaluation.