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This month, the United States selected the first sixteen nations eligible for Millennium Challenge Account assistance. Under the Millennium Challenge Account, the U.S. pledges to increase development assistance to those countries that have in place economic, political, and social policies that put them on the path toward greater economic growth and development. These countries will develop their own proposals for growth that will be the basis for Millennium Challenge Account compacts.

The first group of Millennium Challenge Account eligible countries includes Armenia, Benin, Bolivia, Cape Verde, Georgia, Ghana, Honduras, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Senegal, Sri Lanka, and Vanuatu. President George W. Bush says that the citizens of these nations will be better off as a result of the decisions their governments have made:

(“Madagascar is aggressively fighting corruption. The Ministry of Justice has suspended a dozen magistrates on suspicion of corrupt activity. The government is also implementing an ambitious program of judicial reform. Senegal, Africa’s longest-standing democracy, has also enacted new anti-corruption laws, and is implementing new measures to fight money laundering. Honduras has made improvement of education and health services a top priority.... Other nations...can point with pride to similar examples of progress.” Mr. Bush says that he is urging nations to follow the progressive standards of governing justly, investing in people, and encouraging economic freedom:

“Reform can bring more aid from America, and it will also bring more investment and more trade, lessening the need for aid over time. Reform will be repaid many times over in the relief of poverty, and rising national wealth and stability.”

“The powerful combination of trade and open markets and good government,” says Mr. Bush, “is history’s proven method to defeat poverty on a large scale.”