April 14th, 2007 06:39 EST
The U.S. and Foundations for the Future
Q: Provide an update on the operations of Foundation for the Future organization.
- The Foundation for the Future is an independent, not-for-profit, grant-making foundation that supports civil society organizations in their efforts to foster democracy and freedom in the broader Middle East and North Africa.
- It was launched by Secretary Rice and other ministers from the Broader Middle East and Europe at the December 2005 Forum for the Future in Bahrain.
- The Foundation has a distinguished board including Chairman Anwar Ibrahim and former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. The majority of board members come from the Broader Middle East.
- We understand that the Foundation will hire a Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer next month.
Q: What kinds of programs and activities do they conduct?
- The Foundation serves as an indigenous mechanism for support and funding of regional reform movements in the areas of the rule of law, independent media, empowerment of women, civic education and the engagement of youth.
- We understand the board has approved two initial projects--a civil society resource center and a seminar on the rule of law--and will consider more projects at its next board meeting later this month.
Q: Where is the Foundation headquarters located?
- In July 2006 the board voted to establish the Foundation's headquarters in Beirut. Until the Lebanese government issues a license, the Foundation will operate temporarily out of Amman.
Q: Break down information on membership.
- In addition to the United States, thirteen other governments have made pledges to the Foundation: The European Commission, the UK, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Italy, Hungary, Jordan, Qatar, and Bahrain.
- Civil society groups have been important partners in shaping the Foundation.
Q: How much financial support does the US provide to Foundation of the Future?
- The U.S. pledge is $35 million through the Middle East Partnership Initiative.
Q: How does this support compare to US support to similar Foundations (if such information is available)?
- We do not have that information readily available.