FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE – On December 10, the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) directed MCC to continue working with Sierra Leone on its compact development process through a more limited engagement, in parallel with the government’s bolstering of its anti-corruption efforts in advance of the next scorecard. However, the MCC Board did not vote on Sierra Leone’s continued eligibility during its meeting, and noted that it expects them to pass the “control of corruption” indicator in order to be eligible for fiscal year 2015 compact funding. The U.S. Embassy in Freetown is pleased to continue working with the Government of Sierra Leone and MCC on developing an MCC compact. The Embassy also will support Sierra Leone’s efforts to meet scorecard performance indicators. An MCC compact has the potential to bring hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to countries that pass MCC’s eligibility criteria, which will ultimately help create the foundation for sustained economic growth. Sierra Leone first became eligible for a compact last year. Sierra Leone’s presidency, led by Chief of Staff Dr. Richard Konteh, the MCC Unit led by Mahmoud Idriss, and Minister of Finance Dr. Kaifala Marah, have demonstrated strong leadership in identifying the constraints on economic growth during the compact development process.
Remarking on the news from MCC, Chargé d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy Kathleen FitzGibbon said, “We applaud the hard work and resources the Government of Sierra Leone has put into the compact development to date. The Embassy looks forward to collaborating with Sierra Leone’s government ministries, the Office of the President, the MCC Unit, and other international donors to support the continued reform efforts and MCC eligibility.
“The U.S. Embassy’s commitment to this process reflects our very strong bilateral relationship with Sierra Leone. It is also recognition of the reforms and political will Sierra Leone has exercised, such as passing the Freedom of Information Act, joining the Open Government Partnership, and completing the audits necessary to hopefully regain candidacy with the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.”
Next week the Embassy will host a team from MCC which will meet with government officials and donors. The MCC team will work with the Government of Sierra Leone to outline next steps in the compact development process.
For more information about MCC, go online to www.mcc.gov.
Contact: Boa Lee