The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Board of Directors voted unanimously at its meeting on June 30 to approve a $498.7 million compact with Tunisia to strengthen the country’s transportation, trade, and water sectors.
The independent U.S. Government agency said in a statement, its Tunisia Compact, a five-year grant program, includes projects designed to make trade with the country easier and less expensive by investing in the management, expansion, and digitization of the Port of Rades. It also provides for improving the management and conservation of the country’s groundwater resources.
The program 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, according to the same source.
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, it added.
«The State Department strongly supports the Millennium Challenge Compact with Tunisia, » Brian McKeon, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources was quoted as saying by the same source, adding this «demonstrates the United States’ commitment to helping Tunisia advance its economic growth and reform initiatives. »
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.