The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Board of Directors met on June 30 and voted unanimously to approve a $498.7 million compact with the Government of Tunisia to strengthen Tunisia’s transportation, trade, and water sectors.
The MCC-Tunisia Compact, a five-year grant program, includes projects designed to make trade with Tunisia easier and less expensive by investing in the management, expansion, and digitization of the Port of Rades, as well as improve the management and conservation of the country’s groundwater resources.
“The MCC-Tunisia Compact is a timely and important result of the deep and growing partnership between the United States and Tunisia,” said USAID Administrator Samantha Power. “The Compact also constitutes an affirmation of Tunisia’s commitment to constitutional democratic governance and equitable prosperity at a critical time in Tunisia and the broader region.”
The MCC-Tunisia Compact also includes an activity to catalyze private sector investment in collaboration with the US International Development Finance Corporation. Additionally, MCC’s grant will more than double current U.S. economic assistance to the country.
“It is an exciting moment for MCC and the Government of Tunisia to reach board approval of the MCC-Tunisia Compact,” said MCC Acting Chief Executive Officer Mahmoud Bah. “We are proud to partner with a strategic ally to help the transition to a market-driven economy and better manage key strategic resources for Tunisians.”
The Government of Tunisia will contribute $35 million to the program and implement several institutional and policy improvements to ensure the successful implementation and sustainability of the projects. Key institutional and policy changes will help improve container terminal operations and container throughput at the Port of Rades, reduce the overall cost of trade and transport of goods, and make more efficient use and conservation of limited groundwater – a shortage exacerbated by climate change.
“The State Department strongly supports the Millennium Challenge Compact with Tunisia,” said Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, “which demonstrates the United States’ commitment to helping Tunisia advance its economic growth and reform initiatives.”
In addition to approving the MCC-Tunisia Compact, the Board received an update on MCC’s new Climate Change Strategy. MCC makes climate-smart investments in critical sectors ranging from energy and water, to transportation and agriculture. MCC’s holistic approach helps countries to build climate resiliency, accelerate the adaptation to new climate realities, preserve natural resources, and reduce emissions by transitioning away from fossil fuels. MCC has invested more than $1.7 billion in climate-related activities and has committed to spending more than 50 percent of its program funds in the climate space over the next five years.
The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. Government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to poor countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, from fighting corruption to respecting democratic rights.