- Says new Govt. needs to show clear support for MCC and commitment for a broader engagement with US
In its Congressional Budget Justification, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has requested $800 million to support Compact Programmes in several countries, including in Sri Lanka.
The MCC Congressional Budget Justification published on its website on Monday says the funds have been requested for the year 2021 to support ‘programmes in development, including a second compact programme with Malawi and the first concurrent compacts for regional integration with Benin and Niger, as well as new threshold programmes.’
Under its description on Sri Lanka, the MCC said the MCC’s Board of Directors approved a $480 million compact with the Government of Sri Lanka to improve transportation and logistics infrastructure and land administration in April 2019. It said the proposed programme includes a transport project to reduce traffic congestion in the capital city and economic centre of the country by upgrading eight major road corridors, improving public bus service, and rehabilitating a rural highway network to better connect lagging interior regions of the country with ports and markets.
“It also includes a land project that supports existing government efforts to increase the availability of land data and strengthen land tenure security, enhancing the use of land as a productive economic asset by smallholders, women and the private sector,” the MCC said. It also said Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers approved the compact in October 2019, shortly before Presidential Election. “However, there has subsequently been a lengthy delay to signing the compact and a change of Government in Sri Lanka. Before MCC will proceed to sign the compact, the new Government of Sri Lanka will need to make a clear and public expression of support for the partnership with MCC and demonstrate a commitment for broader engagement with the United States Government,” the Corporation said.