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United States selects Sri Lanka for MCC Compact

Sri Lanka was selected as eligible for a Compact Programme under the US Millennium Challenge Cooperation (MCC) at the meeting of the MCC Board of Directors held in Washington DC recently.

Compact Programmes are five-year grants for countries that meets MCC’s eligibility criteria of good governance, economic freedom and investment in its citizens. The selections are based on performance indicators of these criteria compiled by the MCC in an annual scorecard for countries under consideration.

Following the selection, the Board’s decision was conveyed over the telephone to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, by a senior official of the MCC.

Created by the US Congress in 2004 with bipartisan support, the MCC is a US 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 US and international development programmes, and to create an enabling environment for private sector investment.

The MCC Board is chaired by the US Secretary of State.

In December 2015, Sri Lanka was selected as eligible for a Threshold Programme by the MCC Board. Threshold Programmes are smaller grants awarded to countries that come close to MCC’s eligibility criteria, and are firmly committed to improving policy performance. During the past year, MCC in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka conducted a Constraints to Growth Analysis to determine the binding impediments to economic growth to design a Threshold Programme for poverty reduction. With Sri Lanka’s selection for a Compact Programme this year, MCC and Sri Lanka will begin to develop a larger programme to fight poverty and improve standards of living.

Courtesy – DN

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