WASHINGTON, June 17 (Reuters) - The U.S. government’s main development fund on Tuesday said it had approved $480.9 million in grant funding for Burkina Faso to boost farm productivity, roads and to get girls into schools.
The five-year agreement with the West African country by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is expected to be signed at the end of July.
MCC chief executive, John Danilovich, said the funding will try to help reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth through specific investments to improve agricultural productivity, land management, and roads to get goods to market.
It will also fund the construction of classrooms in 132 schools that promote girls’ education. Fewer than half of all girls in Burkina Faso go to school, many of them kept at home to help with household chores.
The MCC funding comes at a time when governments in poor countries are struggling with the effects of soaring global food and fuel prices. Burkina Faso was one of several countries in West Africa dogged by protests earlier this year over the rising cost of living caused by costlier food and fuel.
“The compact, focused on increasing agricultural productivity, is particularly timely because it offers a long-term solution to the current food crisis in an especially hard-hit part of the world,” Danilovich said in a statement. (Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Diane Craft)