- Burkina Faso is to receive a United States government grant to the tune of US$ 480.9 million to improve the impoverished country's roads, farm productivity and girls' education.
The five-year agreement with the West African state by Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is to be finalised by end of July.
The grant is aimed at lessening impact of poverty as well as promoting economic growth through specific investments to improve agricultural productivity, land management, and roads infrastructure to get goods to markets.
MCC chief executive, John Danilovich, said the grant would also fund construction of classrooms in 132 schools that promote girls' education. Less than half of all girls in Burkina Faso are reported to attend school while most of them stay at home to do household chores.
MCC funding comes at a time when governments in poor countries are trying to keep up with hiking food and fuel prices. Burkina Faso was one of several countries in West Africa troubled by protests over rising food and fuel prices.
"The compact, focused on increasing agricultural productivity, is particularly timely because it offers a long-term solution to current food crisis in an especially hard-hit part of the world," Mr Danilovich said in a statement.
Earlier on, the MCC board also voted to extend, for one year, the term of its compact with Madagascar, with whom it signed its first compact and the only one that is four years in length.
MCC, a US government corporation designed to work with some of the poorest countries in the world, is based on the principle that "aid is most effective when it reinforces good governance, economic freedom, and investments in people that promote economic growth and elimination of extreme poverty," according to the MCC.
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