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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 6, 2004
Statement by the Press Secretary
President Congratulates Countries Selected for the Millennium Challenge
Today, the Board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) selected the first round of Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) countries. The selection marks an historic moment in how the United States and the world delivers development assistance to the world's poorest countries.
The countries chosen were Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Vanuatu.
These countries have met the high standard of this groundbreaking program by governing justly, investing in their people, and promoting economic freedom. The President congratulates them on their selection and looks forward to a genuine partnership between them and the MCC as they prepare their country proposals. Congress has provided $1 billion in 2004 to fund the MCA, and the Administration looks forward to working with Congress to fund our 2005 request of $2.5 billion for the MCA, and to reach our annual funding goal of $5 billion in 2006.
The MCA is a new approach to development assistance, which focuses on increasing economic growth in the world's poorest countries by reinforcing sound policies, good governance, and the rule of law through development programs designed by countries that have demonstrated the commitment to govern justly, promote economic freedom and invest in their people. The President announced the MCA initiative in March 2002, just prior to attending the Financing for Development Conference in Monterrey, Mexico, where this approach was welcomed by fifty heads of state and 200 ministers in the Monterrey Consensus.