Monday, March 26, 2012

United States Approves $355 Million MCC Compact for Zambia


The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors, chaired by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, approved a $355 million Compact grant to lay the foundation for systemic and lasting change in Lusaka’s water, sanitation and drainage sector, a critical constraint to economic growth in the country.

In announcing the award, MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel W. Yohannes said, “We congratulate the Zambian people and the Government of Zambia. MCC investments are expected to have a meaningful impact on the lives of more than 1 million Lusaka residents by improving their health and economic productivity and helping the country reduce poverty on a sustainable basis by enhancing water security.”

“I congratulate the people and government of Zambia for becoming one among a select group of countries to gain MCC approval for an MCC Compact partnership” said Ambassador Mark C. Storella. “Reliable water sanitation, and drainage systems are vital components for sustainable development and, while mostly underground and largely invisible to the casual observer, will improve the health of Zambians, catalyze economic growth, and continue to reduce poverty,” he added.

Through the Compact, the Zambian government will increase Lusaka’s overall water supply, extend and improve select water supply, sanitation and drainage networks, lower flooding and, provide city residents greater access to water and, better water supply, sanitation and drainage services. The Compact also provides technical assistance to continue and deepen ongoing government-led sector reforms and, ensure women and vulnerable populations benefit from project investments. The project also includes drainage infrastructure, health education and hygiene promotion.

“For more than two years,” explained Ambassador Storella, “the Millennium Challenge Corporation has worked with the Zambian government, specifically the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, to help Zambia meet stringent MCC compact eligibility requirements.” He added, “Together, we have engaged with multiple stakeholders in intensive negotiation, consultations and project development to achieve the five-year, $355 million Compact agreement with Zambia.” 

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