Press Release

MCC to House Foreign Affairs Committee: ‘Agency Critical to Protect, Strengthen Global Democracy’

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2022

WASHINGTON (November 15, 2022) — The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Vice President for Policy and Evaluation Alicia Phillips Mandaville appeared before the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Global Human Rights today to discuss how MCC is playing a critical role in strengthening global democracy through economic growth.  

In her testimony, Phillips Mandaville outlined how investing in the growth and good governance of developing countries is more important than ever given the seriousness of the current global challenges.  

“Today’s development landscape is afflicted by multiple challenges that are complex, overlapping, and have compounding effects,” said Phillips Mandaville. “These include a global pandemic, long-standing conflicts, recent coups, and a steady drumbeat of natural disasters — all of which are simultaneously having enormous economic consequences. In Africa, democracy and human rights are being threatened. Among fragile states, fewer than one in five countries are on track to meet the basic needs envisioned through the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Globally, more people live under authoritarian rule than in democracies for the first time in two decades.” 

MCC is a critical tool in U.S.’s efforts to work with fragile states. We believe countries that are committed to strengthening their democracies, even in the most nascent states, have the best chance of delivering development gains for their people and creating pathways out of poverty through economic growth.” 

Additionally, Phillips Mandaville testified how MCC’s model — which has a strong focus on transparency, accountability, and country ownership — is incentivizing democratic governance in partner countries and, in turn, delivering democratic dividends. 

“For 18 years now, MCC has proven to be one of the most impactful agencies in the U.S. development toolkit. A positive externality associated with [our grant programs] is the ‘MCC effect,’ added Phillips Mandaville.  “Several countries have carried out reforms with the specific goal of improving their MCC scorecard performance so they can become eligible for our grant programs. 

Read Phillips Mandaville’s full written remarks or watch the hearing.  

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government development agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants that pair investments in infrastructure with policy and institutional reforms to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.