New from CGD

MCA Gives Nod to Two Lower Middle Income Countries

November 14, 2005
Last week the MCC Board of Directors selected 23 countries as eligible to apply for FY 2006 assistance, and 13 countries eligible for threshold program. CGD's Steven Radelet welcomed the news but questioned the decision to include for the first time two lower-middle income countries. Radelet said he was pleased that the MCC had resisted pressure to rapidly expand the number of middle-income countries in the program, and had largely kept the focus on the poorest, so-called low-income countries.

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."

Read CGD's Press Release on the newly-selected countries
Read the latest on the MCA on CGD's MCA Monitor Blog
Read about each candidate country on our MCA Monitor site