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Published:February 8th, 2006 13:15 EST
State Department Invests $19.5 Million

State Department Invests $19.5 Million

By Leon (Producer) Leon

The United States demonstrates its ongoing strong commitment to support reformers from across the broader Middle East with the award of 28 new and extended grants totaling $19,570,272. The grants will fund projects that advance freedom by enhancing the capacity of civil society, strengthening independent media, and increasing women’s empowerment programs in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative saw a significant increase in the number of applications from non-governmental organizations from within the region.

The 2005 civil society projects range from establishing codes of conduct to expanding civil engagement and outlook beyond welfare and humanitarian assistance to principles of good governance, democracy and human rights.

Examples of awards made under the June 2005 standing program announcement are programs that will advance citizens’ knowledge of their rights and responsibilities in democratic processes in their countries. Women and youth will benefit in particular.

Two proposals for media professionalization in the region were funded. The International Research and Exchanges Board will support local and/or regional independent media organizations to develop skills in media law, regulatory reform, business management, and media independence advocacy, as well as assist networking among independent regional media professionals. New York University, through management advisory teams, will work with independent print outlets to improve business management and journalistic standards.

The Middle East Partnership Initiative Invites Additional Proposals

Since its launch in November 2002, the Middle East Partnership Initiative has invested $250 million in more than 350 programs to support political, economic and educational reform efforts and women’s empowerment in the Middle East. The initiative invites interested organizations to consult the Web site for current requests for proposals.

Civil Society Program 2005

 • Center of Arab Women for Training and Research: improving local governance – Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Yemen ($234,417)

 • Bahrain Transparency Society: electoral code of conduct – Bahrain ($150,000)

 • The Gulf Academy for Development of Human Resources: promote citizen discussion of reforms – Gulf countries ($250,000)

 • International Center for Non-Profit Law: legal reforms for associations –
Regional ($263,507)

 • Al-Urdun al-Jadid Research Center: strengthen civil society networking –
Regional ($245,190)

 • Civil Democratic Initiatives Support Foundation: enable women’s role in constitution drafting – Gulf ($180,000)

 • The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: legislative drafting for Iraqi women parliamentarians – Regional ($236,359)

Media Programs 2005

 • International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX): media freedom advocacy – Regional ($3,474,726)

 • New York University: strengthening media management – Regional ($1,501,913)

Standing Program Announcement 2005

 • No Peace Without Justice: support to the BMENA Democracy Assistance Dialogue – Regional ($700,000)

 • Educational Development Center: teacher training – Yemen ($823,058)

 • YMCA Lebanon: training youth for advocacy – Lebanon ($894,148)

 • Institute of International Education: information technology training for women – Yemen ($425,600)

 • AIESEC US: broadening undergraduate leadership for society – Oman, Qatar, and Bahrain ($650,341)

 • Association of Women’s Committees for Social Work: governing skills for municipal women officials – West Bank ($280,000)

 • Freedom House – two projects: women’s legal rights in Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman; emerging democracy leaders in Algeria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya ($1,416,013)

U.S. State Department