On September 12, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation approved a 5 year, $277 million compact. Shortly after the announcement by the MCC, Senator Patrick Leahy, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations, under the Budget Appropriation Committee, made the following speech on the floor of the Senate. This statement, calling for the inclusion of civil society organizations in the planning and implementation of the new compact, is a major victory for EcoViva and our partner communities and organizations. Click here to read the entire speech.
Excerpt: Statement of Senator Patrick Leahy On A Second Millennium Challenge Compact for El Salvador
September 12, 2013
“Mr. President, earlier today the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation voted to approve a second MCC compact for El Salvador. This was expected, and it begins the last phase of discussions between the United States and El Salvador on the compact which, if finally agreed to and funded, could result in investments totaling $277 million dollars from the United States and $85 million from El Salvador.
“The compact has three main components, described by the MCC as partnering with the private sector to enhance the country’s investment climate; strengthening the country’s future workforce by teaching the skills demanded by the labor market; and reducing transportation and logistics costs by expanding a highway in the coastal region and improving the border crossing into Honduras. I agree that these investments would have a positive impact on the lives of the Salvadoran people.
“However, I am also aware that some Salvadoran civil society organizations have concerns about the potential impact of MCC-financed development on the environment and the livelihoods of coastal communities. If the compact is funded these organizations should be consulted on the design of the details of the compact in a transparent and inclusive process particularly relating to environmental and regulatory issues, and on the ongoing monitoring of compliance…” (emphasis added)