The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has diverted from its original timeline for considering approval of a compact for the Republic of Sierra Leone over the outcome of the 2023 general elections.
In a statement on Thursday, the MCC said it will continue to engage with the Government of Sierra Leone in the spirit of a longstanding partnership but did not mention a possible timeline for when the compact will be approved.
MCC Compacts are five-year grant agreements between MCC and an eligible country to fund programs designed to create an enabling environment for private sector investment. To be eligible for compact assistance, countries must meet certain scorecard indicators set by the MCC. Sierra Leone has passed 11 out of the 20 indicators on the Millennium Challenge Corporation, MCC, the scorecard for 2023, making it the country’s fourth consecutive pass since the government of Julius Maada Bio in 2018.
However, following widespread concerns surrounding the credibility of Sierra Leone’s June 2023 elections, the MCC put on hold, the approval of a grant for Sierra Leone.
Former U.S. Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer, in a recent interview voiced skepticism regarding the election’s authenticity, hinting at potential reevaluations of the U.S.’s collaborations with Sierra Leone.
“The US …would review its government-to-government programs, including a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) compact grant worth hundreds of millions of dollars
“In the year or two preceding the compact, we were very clear with the government of Sierra Leone that to get a compact they needed to have a fair, free, open, and transparent election. Sierra Leone had done everything else up to that point to get a compact, given the fact that there are all sorts of questions about the results, we’re taking a look at everything, and that includes the MCC compact.”, Reimer said.
In response to an inquiry about the program’s status, the MCC conveyed via email, expressing, “MCC is deeply concerned about the credibility of Sierra Leone’s recent electoral process, and these concerns have directly impacted the pace of compact development.”
This packed program entails a substantial US$450 million grant, disbursed over a five-year period, intended to bolster various sectors within the nation.