Paynesville – Media reports in August have backed social media claims that Liberia has failed this year’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard.
Fact Check Report by: Jerry Gaye | Local Voices Liberia Fact Checker
MCC is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. The MCC provides time-limit grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption, and respecting democratic rights.
What are the Claims?
In one of the publications, FrontPage Africa reported that “Liberia has again performed dismally in the U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) program after it failed 11 of the 20 indicators … missed out on securing a second compact from the MCC – an amount in the tune of at least US$500 million dollars”.
In another publication by the Daily Observer Newspaper on August 18, the paper reported that “the Weah administration, passing nine out of 20 indicators for the fiscal year 2022 is a repeat of the country’s FY2021 score, in which the government also narrowly missed out on eligibility to be considered for another MCC compact”.
In response to a Facebook post by Spoon FM, the head of the Liberia Microeconomics Policy Analysis Center (LIMPAC) at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Del-Francis Wreh refuted the media report, claiming that the MCC has not released its 2022 scorecard.
Wrote Mr. Wreh: “The MCC scorecard indicators and story posted by Spoon FM are outdated and are based on previous performance indicators and data submission for 2019 and the most part of 2020 when the Liberian economy was significantly challenged… the MCC mechanism in determining and publishing scorecards for all countries is always using past indicative performances for the incoming year; so FY22 published November 9, 2021, according to official Press Release of MCC cannot be performance for Liberia’s calendar year 2022”.
Although Spoon FM later deleted the post, a screenshot shared by Mr. Wreh reads: “Liberia once again failed to pass U.S. 2022 Millennium Challenge Corporation indicators. The country failed 11 of the 20 indicators”.
What Did We Find?
Local Voices Liberia Fact Checking Desk looked into these claims. We found that the most recent scorecard for candidate countries was released by the MCC on November 9, 2021, according to an official press release.
The release also disclosed that the MCC uses past performance indicators to determine the eligibility of countries for the compact for the incoming year. This means, the FY22 scorecard for Liberia published November 9, 2021, is the performance for the calendar year 2021.
In that November 9, 2021 scorecard, Liberia failed 11 out of the 20 performance indicators, thus denying the country any chance of receiving the MCC grant this year (2022).
The MCC’s Board of Directors meet every year at its December quarterly sitting to select countries eligible for MCC assistance beginning with the identification of candidate countries that have per capita incomes below the World Bank’s threshold.
This means since November 9, 2021, no new scorecard has been released. We also found that the performance indicators report that will determine the eligibility of Liberia and other countries for the next compact will be published on November 9, 2022. This scorecard will now be used as the yardstick to measure countries that will qualify for the 2023 MCC grant and will therefore be the 2023 scorecard although the indicators/scores are not based on activities that occurred in 2023 but rather in 2022.
Based on the information we obtained, we conclude that the MCC has not released any new scorecard in 2022 as claimed by media reports. The last time the MCC release scorecards for candidate countries including Liberia to determine their eligibility for the 2022 compact grant was back in November of 2021. We also conclude that the claim by Mr. Wreh of the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning about the MCC scorecard is correct.
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