Monday, 06 December 2021 02:43 GMT

Sri Lanka gets first Millennium Challenge grant from US


(MENAFN- NewsIn.Asia) Colombo, July 27 (newsin.asia) - A delegation from the U.S. government's Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has pledged 7.4 million US dollars in funding for Sri Lanka under a five-year grant program that aims to reduce poverty and promote economic opportunity for Sri Lankans, the US Embassy in Colombo said in a statement Thursday.

The MCC delegation led by Fatema Z. Sumar, Regional Deputy Vice President for Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Latin America, visited Colombo to advance progress on the development of the MCC compact with the Sri Lankan government.

'We are pleased to announce LKR 1.1 billion ($7.4 million) in funding that the Millennium Challenge Corporation is providing now to support the development of a compact, including identifying and analyzing specific projects for potential investment,' Sumar said.

Because the compact is still in development, the total compact funding amount has not yet been determined. The $7.4 million in funding is in addition to the total MCC compact funding amount, the US Embassy said.

Based on an analysis of the constraints to economic growth, MCC and the Sri Lankan government are now conducting due diligence on potential projects in the transport and land sectors.

The Sri Lankan Government has established a project management unit—the Sri Lankan Compact Development Team—within the Prime Minister's office to work with MCC on the compact.

The goal is to develop a high-quality, evidence-based and sustainable compact aimed at addressing these economic challenges in a way that drives growth and reduces poverty, the Embassy said in its statement.

In December 2016, MCC's Board of Directors selected Sri Lanka to develop a compact. Sri Lanka became eligible for assistance after passing 13 out of 20 indicators on MCC's policy scorecard.

Sri Lanka will need to be re-selected by MCC's Board in December for compact development to continue.

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