Press Release

MCC Approves $10.5 Million Grant for Timor-Leste to Improve Childhood Immunization, Curb Corruption

For Immediate Release

May 28, 2010

Washington, DC – The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Board of Directors today approved a three-year, nearly $10.5 million MCC threshold program that will assist Timor-Leste with its national childhood immunization strategy and with efforts to curb corruption.


The program, proposed by the government of Timor-Leste, is intended to build functioning and effective anti-corruption institutions by strengthening capacity, increasing coordination, and improving processes and procedures to detect, deter, and prosecute corruption.  The program also will create a more capable and effective community health system in Timor-Leste by strengthening local community health units, improving vaccine-preventable disease surveillance capacity and immunization, and increasing the number of qualified health service providers.


“This program enhances Timor-Leste’s commitment to improve the health of its children and reduce corruption,” said MCC Chief Executive Officer Daniel Yohannes.  “Reliable health services and an environment of transparency and accountability are both essential to sustainable development.  MCC looks forward to partnering with Timor-Leste in implementing this threshold program.”


MCC’s threshold program is designed to assist countries that are on the “threshold” of eligibility for MCC compact assistance. Threshold program assistance is used to help countries address the specific policy areas for improvement indicated by their scores on 17 policy indicators in three categories —Ruling Justly, Investing in People, and Encouraging Economic Freedom.  These policy indicators are central to the criteria and methodology for determining compact eligibility and are products of respected international institutions and national data.  Each indicator is selected based on its utility in removing impediments to growth and poverty reduction, the number of countries it covers, its transparency and availability, and its analytical rigor.


Following MCC Board approval, there is a 15-day congressional notification period before the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), as the primary U.S. Government implementer of the threshold program, may enter into negotiations and sign a threshold program agreement with the government of Timor-Leste. USAID will manage the threshold program and  be responsible for coordination, contracting, and financial management.  MCC will maintain oversight of Timor-Leste’s threshold program.

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Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. Government agency designed to work with developing countries, is based on the principle that aid is most effective when it reinforces sound political, economic, and social policies that promote poverty reduction through economic growth.  For more information, please visit

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