Ken Adelman: The problem with MCC’s compact with Indonesia

    Logging roads in the forests of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Photo by: Aidenvironment

    The Obama administration is being called out once again for the contents of the Millennium Challenge Corp. compact it signed with Indonesia, which some experts said could hurt, instead of improve, the Asian country’s economy.

    One of the three pillars of the $600 million compact between Indonesia and MCC is the Green Prosperity Project, which supports low-carbon economic growth through the use of renewable energy and improvement of natural resources management. At least one expert has argued this project does not support Indonesia’s economic priorities but instead advances those of the Obama administration.

    Ken Adelman, vice president of the U.S.-based leadership training institute Movers and Shakespeares, noted Indonesia’ main economic interests are in the plantation, forestry and agriculture sectors.

    Patrick Fine, vice president of MCC’s department of compact operations, responded with on op-ed in the Huffington Post.

    This is not the first time the Obama administration has come under fire for including the Green Prosperity Project as part of the MCC compact. The compact was still in its initial planning phase in 2010 when a conservative U.S. think tank, Frontiers of Freedom, argued using MCC money to cease deforestation in Indonesia is “an assault on the livelihoods of millions of Indonesians” and “a severe misuse” of U.S. taxpayer’s money.

    Adelman also echoes another argument of Frontiers of Freedom — that MCC should not be focusing on such environment or energy-related initiatives.

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    About the author

    • Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.