Sri Lanka gets first Millennium Challenge grant, mulls transport, land projects
ECONOMYNEXT – Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a U.S. government aid agency, has announced a Rs1.1 billion initial grant for Sri Lanka with due diligence now being done on potential projects in the transport and land sectors.
Sri Lanka was among countries selected by MCC last year to receive five-year grants aimed at encouraging economic growth and reducing poverty.
A delegation from MCC 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—the five-year grant program.
“We are pleased to announce Rs1.1 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.
Based on an analysis of the constraints to economic growth, MCC and the Government of Sri Lanka are now conducting due diligence on potential projects in the transport and land sectors, the statement said.
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 statement said.
MCC holds partner countries accountable through rigorous oversight, monitoring and evaluation.
Sri Lanka’s compact development team is consulting with a wide group of stakeholders to collect input – including potential beneficiaries, civil society, the private sector, other donors, and relevant government entities.
(COLOMBO, July 27, 2017)