Mongolia’s Democratic Success Earns Millennium Challenge Grant
Agreement is intended to aid Mongolia’s rail, education, health systems.
Washington -- Improvements to Mongolia’s rail transportation, property rights, vocational education and health care systems are the focus of a nearly $285 million foreign-assistance package from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).
“The Millennium Challenge Compact encourages countries to make a firm commitment to basic principles, principles that mean the government will listen to their people and respond to the needs of the people. And today, Mr. President, we honor the success of your country and the commitment of your government to basic principles,” President Bush told President Nambaryn Enkhbayar of Mongolia during the compact’s signing ceremony October 22.
The MCC, an independent corporation established by the U.S. government in 2004, offers grants and technical assistance to developing countries that score well on 16 indicators of social, political and economic policy performance. Eligible countries are asked to submit proposals and participate in the implementation of MCC programs.
“The idea of rewarding the successful democracies through supporting their goals inspired the Mongolians from the beginning of this initiative,” Enkhbayar said. “Mongolia also appreciates and upholds the principle of aid with accountability and ownership advocated by the government of the United States.”
According to the MCC, goals of the compact with Mongolia are:
• Increasing Mongolia’s economic activity, including exports, by improving the efficiency and capacity of the country’s rail network;
• Improving the accuracy, accessibility and efficiency of Mongolia’s system for recognizing and transferring land rights as well as establishing a long-term leasing system;
• Developing a vocational educational system to train Mongolians for market-oriented jobs; and
• Modernizing Mongolia’s health care system, with a particular focus on preventing or treating noncommunicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and injury-induced trauma.
The compact also will promote long-term changes in Mongolia’s legal and regulatory environment to sustain the improvements in the four targeted areas.
“I am confident that the Compact program will have a truly transformational impact on Mongolia’s poverty reduction efforts through investment in our human capital, rehabilitation of vital transportation infrastructure and strengthening the institutional capacity of the public service agencies,” Enkhbayar said during the ceremony.
With the addition of Mongolia, the MCC now has compacts with 15 countries, totaling nearly $4.9 billion.
For more information, see a transcript of remarks by Bush and Enkhbayar during the signing ceremony, the full text of a State Department press release on the U.S.-Mongolia Proliferation Security Initiative Shipboarding Agreement and the full text of a joint declaration on closer cooperation between the two countries.
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