Guyana signs $6.7 Million Millennium Challenge Corporation Grant to support fiscal reforms

GUYANA – Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Deputy CEO Rodney Bent and Guyanese President Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday, August 23 officiated at the signing of an MCC Threshold Program agreement between the United States and Guyana. The two-year $6.7 million program focuses on reducing Guyana’s fiscal deficit by improving its ability to collect revenue and better manage its budget. Additionally, the program will help reduce the number of days and cost to start a business by streamlining business registrations. Guyanese Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh and USAID Mission Director Dr. Fenton Sands signed the agreement.

“Congratulations to the people and government of Guyana for their commitment to economic reform,” said MCC Deputy CEO Rodney Bent. “Guyana’s threshold program will help overhaul fiscal policies and create a more business-friendly environment. We look forward to working with the people of Guyana as they implement this ambitious program.

Mr. Bent added, “I would like to thank our colleagues at USAID and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana, led by Chargé d’affaires Michael Thomas, for their work in making this program possible.”

MCC’s Threshold Program is designed to assist countries that are on the “threshold” of eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account Compacts. Threshold Program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy weaknesses indicated by the country’s scores on 16 policy indicators in three categories—Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom. These policy indicators are central to the criteria and methodology for Compact eligibility and are products of respected international institutions and national data. Each indicator was selected based on its relationship to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, its analytical rigor, and its objectivity.

The assistance package for the Government of Guyana is focused on improving the country’s performance on the Economic Freedom indicator.

MCC’s Threshold Program assistance approved to date totals approximately $332 million in fifteen countries: Burkina Faso, Malawi, Tanzania, Albania, Paraguay, Zambia, Philippines, Ukraine, Jordan, Indonesia, Moldova, Kenya, Uganda, Guyana and Kyrgyz Republic.

The U.S. Agency for International Development will oversee implementation of the program on behalf of MCC.

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