Of the 34 countries that passed the performance indicators, the Board chose to add only 6 new countries to its current list of 17 eligible for MCC funding. Two of the six—El Salvador and Namibia—are lower middle income countries, with average incomes much higher than the countries previously covered by the program.
"It’s great news that more countries passed the basic eligibility tests of good governance and strong economic policies. But not all of these countries that passed the tests were selected. Faced with a budget appropriation that will fall well below the requested $3 billion, the Board appears to be sending some clear signals that it will reward a more selective group of countries with larger, higher-impact programs," he said. "I hope that the Board will clarify to the public why several countries that passed its criteria were not chosen for the program."