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The MCC board of directors lifted Malawi’s compact suspension, citing newly-elected President Joyce Banda’s quick democratic and economic reforms. In the weeks before the board decision, I urged the MCC to be patient. The MCC decided Malawi’s new government had met all publicly-stated targets for lifting the suspension: changes in (un)democratic laws, responses to last summer’s violence, and an IMF comfort letter indicating an IMF package is likely later this month. The MCC has taken a calculated risk that the reforms—made in just three short months—will be lasting. I hope for Malawi and the MCC that this proves true. What happens in the next six to twelve months, while the MCC and Malawi redesign and adjust program costs, will matter. (Meanwhile, I’d love to see the United States consider other aid possibilities, like Cash on Delivery Aid as Bill Savedoff suggested).

And still no word on those two vacant MCC board seats