Remarks by MCC CEO Daniel W. Yohannes at the Signing Ceremony of the Jordan-MCC Compact
October 25, 2010, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.
Thank you. Please be seated.
All our distinguished guests,
It is an honor to join you for the historic signing of a 275 million dollar compact between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation. Jordan and the United States share a close friendship, built on mutual interests and shared values. The MCC compact we sign today is further proof of the cooperation between our two great countries.
I’d like to especially thank Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the chair of MCC’s Board of Directors, for her ongoing support of MCC’s mission to fight global poverty. I’d also like to thank Mohye al-Deen Shbool and Jay Scheerer for their exceptional leadership in guiding the Jordanian and MCC teams to this occasion.
Water is at the heart of the MCC-Jordan compact.
Jordan is ranked among the five most water-poor countries in the world. Because of short supply of water, many households receive water only once or twice a week. Poor connections and leaking pipes mean that even available water fails to reach some homes and businesses. This limits economic activity and complicates daily life. Ordinary citizens, the private sector, civil society, and the government worked together to identify Jordan’s severe water shortages as a constraint to economic growth. Addressing this issue is a priority for improving livelihoods, reducing poverty, and achieving sustainable economic growth.
Reflecting President Obama’s vision for global development, MCC’s country-driven approach invests in solutions by and for Jordanians. We believe our investments are most effective in partner countries that lead their own development and create conditions to sustain the impact we seek. That’s why Jordan’s compact invests in the water sector. And that’s why Jordan is committed to sound policies, transparency, and accountability to deliver results from this compact.
Jordan’s MCC compact invests in three integrated water and wastewater projects in Zarqa. This is one of the country’s poorest areas, where nearly three in ten households consume less than the minimum amount of water considered essential for personal hygiene and food safety.
First, the compact will rehabilitate the water supply network for households and businesses.
Second, the compact will expand the wastewater collection network into neighborhoods that lack access to proper sewer systems.
Third, the compact will expand the As-Samra Wastewater Treatment Plant by partnering with a private sector operator that will mobilize a portion of the total construction costs.
Together, these projects will increase the water supply to households and commercial users throughout Zarqa.
Excellencies, MCC is proud to partner with Jordan to make sure that water advances prosperity. I congratulate the people of Jordan for their vision in creating the compact we sign today. Looking ahead, our focus must be on the compact’s timely and successful implementation.
When water flows in Jordan, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth will surely follow.
It is now my great pleasure to introduce and yield the podium to the Chair of MCC’s Board, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.