Posts Tagged 'Millennium Challenge Corporation'

Scope of Interagency Influence and Authority

The Council for Global Equality - Scope of Interagency Influence and AuthorityOver the past three days, we’ve laid out a number of key issues to be grappled with as the U.S. government meshes its foreign assistance programs with the goals laid out in the President’s December 6 memorandum and in Secretary Clinton’s speech the same day. These issues will require more than energy and thought: they will require clear and determined support from department and agency leaders, which we trust will be given.

As referenced earlier, USAID’s development assistance programs represent, in fact, only part of a larger set of assistance programs scattered across the U.S. government. The President’s memorandum references a baker’s dozen agencies that have such programs. Apart from USAID, two of our largest assistance programs were established under the Bush Administration: the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), which we mentioned in yesterday’s blog, was established as a government corporation under the direction of a public/private board; PEPFAR, which operates under the Secretary of State’s oversight, oversees our international HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. Smaller grass-roots development assistance programs are managed by the Inter-American Foundation and the African Development Foundation. Even the Pentagon carries discretionary funding that can buttress our overseas development assistance efforts. Continue reading ‘Scope of Interagency Influence and Authority’

Conditionality in U.S. Foreign Assistance

The Council for Global Equality - Conditionality in U.S. Foreign AssistanceLGBT hate crimes and other abuses are a clear concern in a number of countries.  Our developmental assistance policy-makers inevitably will confront the question of whether – and if so, how – foreign assistance might appropriately be conditioned in response to these and other LGBT human rights policy concerns.  The human rights and developmental assistance communities are divided internally on that point; we will not resolve those divisions today.

It seems to us that all foreign policy decisions, including with respect to foreign assistance, ultimately must reflect our own country’s principles and values – and these include the manner in which a country’s citizens are treated fairly, with equal rights, obligations, and opportunities.  It also seems to us that, except, perhaps, in emergency response, the decisions we take must encourage the kind of global community that shares our principles and values:  otherwise, those individual decisions have little import or reason.

With that in mind, the question of whether foreign aid should be conditioned on a country’s acceptance of LGBT fairness principles logically might come into play at any of three decision points. Continue reading ‘Conditionality in U.S. Foreign Assistance’

Millennium Challenge Corporation Places Operational Hold on Malawi Compact

Millennium Challenge CorporationFor Immediate Release
July 26, 2011
Contact: Nasserie Carew
202 521-7258 (office)
202 631-7117
carewnm@mcc.gov

Millennium Challenge Corporation Places Operational Hold on Malawi Compact

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. Government agency that provides development assistance to countries that demonstrate a commitment to good governance.  At the core of an MCC partnership is the expectation that countries maintain a demonstrated commitment to political pluralism, human rights, and the rule of law throughout the life of the program.  MCC is deeply concerned by recent events in Malawi and is placing an immediate hold on all program operations in order to review its partnership with Malawi, including whether to recommend to its Board of Directors to suspend or terminate its assistance.

MCC signed a five-year, $350 million Compact with the Government of Malawi on April 7, 2011.  The Compact is focused on Malawi’s power sector and is expected to benefit nearly 6 million Malawians.  By reducing power outages and technical losses, enhancing the sustainability and efficiency of hydropower generation, and improving service to electricity consumers, the Compact is designed to reduce energy costs to enterprises and households; improve productivity in the agriculture, manufacturing and services sectors; and support the preservation and creation of employment opportunities in the economy.

MCC’s operational hold will bring to a halt all ongoing Compact activities during the review.

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Related article: In Malawi, LGBT rights activists ‘in hiding’

U.S. Condemns Violent Disruption of Protests in Malawi

July 21, 2011

For immediate release and posting: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesperson

STATEMENT BY HEIDE BRONKE FULTON, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON

U.S. Condemns Violent Disruption of Protests in Malawi

The United States strongly condemns the use of force by Malawian authorities on July 20 to prevent their own citizens from exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate peacefully as well as the ban imposed on media reporting of the confrontations.  Denying the right of people to protest peacefully is unacceptable. We are disturbed by reports of violence targeting individuals on account of their political or social affiliations.  We are also troubled by the announcement from the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) banning all private radio stations from covering the demonstrations. In light of continued rioting and rumors of retaliation, we urge restraint from both sides.

The Malawian people are guaranteed the right to peaceful association and freedom of expression in their constitution.  The Government’s attempt to prohibit its citizens from marching, and the regulator’s ban on independent media coverage undermine democracy and the rule of law that Malawians cherish and are seeking to protect.  We recall the words of President Mutharika at the April 7 Millennium Challenge Corporation signing ceremony in Lilongwe, that he “will continue to adhere to and uphold democracy and good governance, freedom of expression, freedom of association” and other fundamental freedoms enshrined in Malawi’s constitution.

The United States calls on the people and the Government of Malawi to remain committed to the principles of democracy and to express disagreements through peaceful means.

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Related Posts: In Malawi, more scapegoating of LGBT as riots erupt

Malawi Government Targets NGOs Working for LGBTI Human Rights

Council position on suspension of $350 million in development assistance to Malawi

Sex Between Women Now a Crime in Malawi: New Law Violates Human Rights Obligations of Malawi

Malawi Government Targets NGOs Working for LGBTI Human Rights

repost from African Activist

In less than 20 days after the United States unfroze $350 million in foreign aid to Malawi, the government is claiming that Norwegian and Dutch funding of NGOs working for LGBTI human rights is “being used by external forces to destabilize the government…These are the people who are being used as agents from the government’s enemies.” Information and Civic Education Minister Vuwa Kaunda and Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Dr George Chaponda handed the media a document with information about the donations.

The government is targeting two NGOs specifically: Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Center for the Development of People (CEDEP).Continue Reading Story.

Related: Millennium Challenge Corporation signs $350 million development assistance compact with Malawi

Council position on suspension of $350 million in development assistance to Malawi

In February the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government-funded development institution, suspended an agreement with Malawi, focused on energy sector development, based in part on concerns over a new law criminalizing consensual relations between women. (See news reports here.)

Read the Council’s position here


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