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Commitment To Good Investments, Ability To Say 'No' At Heart Of Foreign Aid Reform

“During these tough budget times, citizens across the world rightfully question the effectiveness of government spending, including funds spent on foreign assistance,” Daniel Yohannes, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), writes in this Foreign Policy opinion piece. “At the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent U.S. foreign aid agency with a global investment portfolio of more than $9.3 billion, we believe our assistance should be earned,” he writes. “MCC is an integral part of the administration’s comprehensive efforts to modernize U.S. development policies and programs, placing us at the forefront of foreign aid reform,” he continues, adding, “And one of the most effective tools we have to carry out this mission is the ability to say ‘no.'”

“Because of our demanding development model, we tell many countries ‘no’ — no to bad investments, no to corruption, no to backsliding on democratic rights, no to partnerships that fail to meet our strict selection standards,” Yohannes writes, and cites the MCC’s partnership with Malawi as an example. “Our collective experiences prove that commitments to good governance, investments in people, and economic freedom — which includes the rule of law — are the very foundation of achieving prosperity and economic growth,” he writes. “World leaders recognize this and will continue the global conversation on this important issue when they meet this month at the United Nations General Assembly, where the rule of law will be the central theme,” he continues, adding, “Our stance is clear: If your country is not committed to these principles, the Millennium Challenge Corporation will say no” (9/24).