US government’s MCC signs agreement with Sri Lanka to provide additional grant for compact development
The US government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Managing Director for Europe, Asia, Pacific, and Latin America, Caroline Nguyen visited Sri Lanka last week to advance the development of the proposed MCC compact – a large-scale five-year grant programme.
A statement issued by the US Embassy in Colombo stated that the US government is developing this compact in partnership with the government of Sri Lanka for the specific purpose of reducing poverty and promoting economic opportunity for Sri Lankans. MCC is an innovative foreign assistance agency of the United States Government established in 2004 that has signed compacts with 29 countries around the world.
During the visit, Nguyen joined the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Hilton at the Ministry of Finance to sign an agreement to provide an additional Rs. 413 million (US$ 2.6 million) grant to finalize compact development. This amount supplements the Rs. 1.2 billion (US$ 7.4 million grant) that MCC provided last July to support feasibility studies needed to develop a high-quality, evidence-based and sustainable programme and is in addition to the final grant amount that MCC will provide for the compact.
During her visit to Sri Lanka, Nguyen has also met with Sri Lankan government officials, including State Minister for Finance Eran Wickramaratne and Minister for Highways and Roads Kabir Hashim.
Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Hilton has said, “The Millennium Challenge Corporation compact is an important part of the US Government’s commitment to work as partners with the people of Sri Lanka to support sustainable development throughout the country.”
“We are pleased to partner with Sri Lanka on a programme that will reduce poverty through economic growth and improve lives in the country,” Nguyen said. “This additional funding will support the final stage of compact development and help ensure that the programme will have the transformative impact that MCC and the Government collectively seek.”
According to the US Embassy in Colombo, the proposed MCC compact is in the final stages of development and is expected to be presented to MCC’s Board of Directors for approval by late 2018. MCC will fund the compact entirely through grants which do not need to be repaid rather than loans.
Based on an analysis of Sri Lanka’s economy and the constraints that are holding back private investment and growth, MCC expects to invest in projects proposed by the government of Sri Lanka in the transport and land sectors.
The proposed compact seeks to reduce urban traffic congestion, improve interregional movement of goods and people, and support Government initiatives to strengthen land administration.
The support extended by the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) towards the development of the overall Sri Lankan economy would be an encouraging sign for foreign businesses/investors interested in doing business in the island nation. The aim of reducing poverty and promoting economic opportunity for Sri Lankans through the MCC programme would further strengthen the Sri Lankan economy.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/20180628/Z_1|