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From the Field

In Benin, we will hold the closing ceremony of the first annual Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) campaign in northern Benin (Atacora) funded under President’s Malaria Initiative. IRS applies insecticide and protects against mosquitoes that transmit malaria in the houses of rural communities that are most exposed to the disease.

In Ghana, we will launch the Les Aspin Anti-corruption and Good Governance training program. Les Aspin’s Africa training program involves participants from Ghana (4 persons), Kenya (4 persons), Uganda (2 persons), Tanzania (2 persons), Mali (2 persons) and Nigeria (2 persons). Selected participants include junior to middle level personnel of government and civil society organizations working in the area of anti-corruption and the administration of justice. The Anti-Corruption and Good Governance program, which is an annual event, is a capacity building activity in anti-corruption and good governance for government and civil society leaders from Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The six West and East African countries have been selected based on their political stability. The Les Aspin Center in Washington, D.C. conducts workshops in two phases: the orientation takes place in Ghana and the actual workshop takes place in the United States. For the current workshop, there are 16 participants representing civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, and government.

In Serbia, we will hold an event to mark our assistance to Serbian Berry Sector. This collaboration is significant to the progress and expansion of the berry sector in Serbia. Issues pertaining to export, coordination of assistance, new markets, policy issues and constraints will be addressed.

From the Field

In Senegal, at Bembey University we will launch a higher education agreement with Fairfield University.  This new partnership between the United States and Senegal seeks to introduce a service learning model to support health education for middle school students and teacher training in educational technology.

In Egypt, as part of the Improving the Performance of Nurses in Upper Egypt (IPN) project, we will hold the first networking meeting for participating nurses from Qena hospitals.

In Indonesia, we will be sending thirteen students for studies at Georgia State University (GSU) to earn Masters in Applied Economics with a focus on fiscal policy. Most of the students come from the Government of Indonesia’s Fiscal Policy Office of the Ministry of Finance and have spent the last year studying at Gadjah Mada University (GMU) in Yogyakarta to improve their knowledge of this complex issue.

From the Field

In Indonesia, in collaboration with AusAID we designed and implemented a school reconstruction project for 34 West Sumatra primary schools using a “build back better” principle, which underscored that schools were to be reconstructed after earthquake damage to meet Indonesian seismic standards.  USAID reconstructed 20 primary schools, including procurement of furniture and books.  Project construction was completed in early April.  This week, we will handover these Padang Schools to the West Sumatra people.

Also in Indonesia, we will hold a TechCamp.  TechCamp Jakarta is a hands-on, two-day event that brings together civil society leaders, technologists and local officials in Jakarta to identify technologies that can make a positive impact in local communities.  It focuses on providing a unique interactive opportunity for technologists, civil society groups, and officials from across Indonesia and the United States to collaborate and discuss ways in which new technology can be used for social good. The aim is for TechCamp to become a self-organizing, self-replicating event that can be organized by communities all over the world. This event will be interactive, with a participant-driven agenda tentatively focused on disaster relief and climate change.

From the Field

In the Safa village in Ramallah, West Bank, we will hold a bike race as part of the Model School Development Program.  This initiative seeks to introduce a student-centered, contemporary approach to teaching and learning that integrates child development at the physical, cognitive, psychological, and social levels.  The focus is on improving the quality of teaching and learning in the areas of English, science, and mathematics, within a network of 57 public and private schools in the West Bank and Gaza.

In Mozambique, we will hold a Go Girls! Initiative event.  Go Girls! is focused on reducing young women’s vulnerability to HIV.  It is aimed at reaching girls age 10–17 years old in Botswana, Malawi, and Mozambique.  At the event, we will present recommendations for sustaining the momentum & committing to reduce girls’ vulnerability to HIV.

In Iraq, we will hold several courses of the Farmer Field School (FFS) to tutor farmers on greenhouse management.   The group-based hands-on approach of the FFS includes adult education, facilitation, plant-animal life cycles, group study and farmer group development to improve out-of-season production in Iraq.

From the Field

In Lebanon, in honor of the World Earth Day, the U.S. Forest Service and local NGO Association for Forest Development and Conservation (AFDC) organized a short play at Aley Cultural Secondary School to raise awareness on forest fire prevention and fire fighting techniques.  This event included a short play on fire safety and demonstrations on fire fighting using a fire engine.  Over 280 students and faculty members participated in the event.

In Ghana, to commemorate World Malaria Day, a Presidential Malaria Initiative (PMI) resident advisor held a radio interview on USAID PMI efforts to end malaria in Ghana.  The USG through USAID and CDC is supporting Ghana’s goal to reduce the malaria disease burden by 75% by the year 2015. In 2010, PMI donated over 2.3 million bed nets to Ghana, and also supported indoor residual spraying in 8 districts in Northern Region, which protected 850,000 people.

In Mozambique, we held a soccer tournament with school children from local communities to disseminate the malaria message.  We continue to seek new and innovative ways to combat malaria at the local level.

From the Field

In Senegal, we will launch a new training curriculum on Value Chain and Agri-Food Business in collaboration with Michigan State University. The 4-semester Master’s Degree program is mainly aimed at regular fourth-year agricultural engineering students and includes tailor-made short-term training modules for working people. The overall objective is to promote excellence beyond national boundaries and to generate a critical mass of skillful professionals that will lead to structural changes required for the development of domestic agriculture and its adaption to a global market economy.

In Indonesia, we will host the Indonesia International Infrastructure Conference to highlight the launch of the Indonesia Clean Energy Development (ICED) Program. This program will continue our assistance in the energy sector and focus on increasing access to energy and reducing green house gas emissions from the energy sector through fostering the development of clean energy. A great opportunity to align the program with the Government of Indonesia objectives and strategies in clean energy development.

In Paraguay, along with local NGO’s we will launch a Democracy – Civil Society Program in Asuncion. This 3-year program will promote the participation of different social sectors, strengthen civil society organizations, promote civic education content in formal education curriculum and promote ethics in journalism.

From the Field

In Kingston, Jamaica we will celebrate Reading Week.  As part of the celebration, Jamaica’s Mission Director will take time to read to a class of children. I-PLEDGE is an initiative of Grace Kennedy Money Services (GKMS) through the brand Western Union, which seeks to support the development of primary education by improving literacy, particularly reading. April fourth to eighth will be observed as Reading Week.

In Vietnam, we will sign a memo of intent for an Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program.  Recognizing that nearly 75 percent of all new, emerging, or re-emerging diseases affecting humans at the beginning of the 21st century have originated in animals, USAID has launched a global Emerging Pandemic Threats (EPT) program.  In Vietnam, this program will support the development of comprehensive disease detection and response capacities, particularly in geographic areas where disease threats are likely to emerge, and work to aggressively pre-empt or combat diseases that could spark future pandemics.

In Mozambique, we will handover archaeological artifacts and historical preservation work conducted on Ibo Island under USAID’s Arco Norte Tourism Project.  USAID has been working on cultural, archaeological and historical assets on Ibo Island since 2006. With the end of the USAID funded Arco Norte Tourism project, we completed this support and now want to hand-over these improved and restored assets to the Ministry of Culture in Mozambique.

From the Field

In Jamaica, the U.S. government is partnering with the Jamaica Constabulary Force to host the region’s First Law Enforcement Anti-Corruption Conference.  The two-day conference will feature leading anti-corruption champions and will bring together high level law enforcement personnel, including Commissioners of Police and Customs, to conduct a situational analysis of corruption in the individual Caribbean territories, and to share their experiences on the fight against corruption in their jurisdictions. Participants will also work to: identify the types and levels of corruption, and the status of anti-corruption initiatives in the region; ascertain best practices in the fight against corruption; and explore, with a view to establishing, Regional Law Enforcement Anti-Corruption networks.

This conference is one of several activities supported by the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which is a shared security partnership that fulfills the commitment to deepen regional security cooperation that President Barack Obama made at the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held in Port of Spain, Trinidad, in April 2009.  CBSI complements other citizen safety initiatives between the United States and other partners in the hemisphere.

In Turkmenistan, in note of World TB Day, we are holding a National TB Conference for health workers.   Partners include The National Center for Infectious Diseases of Turkmenistan, TB Prevention Center, WHO, National Red Crescent Society and UNDP.

In Pakistan, we will host a radio talk show on USAID’s initiative to improve economic wellbeing of women micro entrepreneurs  by partnering with local organizations through its ENTREPRENEURS Project.  This will be the fourth show of the radio series. Representatives from USAID,  ENTREPRENEURS’ Project and program beneficiary will be invited to discuss USAID’s support to Pakistani women micro entrepreneurs, sharing their experiences of how they benefitted and further possibilities for Pakistani women  to contribute for economic wellbeing of their families and country at large.

From the Field

In Nepal, to commemorate International Women’s Day, thousands of Nepalese women marched the streets to promote women as international leaders.  Check out the video here.

In Jamaica, we will begin activities to highlight the dissemination of the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) Democracy Survey.

In Madagascar, we will sign a three-year agreement with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to implement a new water and sanitation project, “Rural Access to New Opportunities for Health and Water Resource Management” or RANON’ALA. The project will target more than 125,730 vulnerable people in 14 rural communes of Madagascar.

A Dispatch from the Tunisian and Libyan Border

Nancy Lindborg is the Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID on the ground. Photo Credit: USAID

Ras Jdir, Tunisia: I heard boisterous singing as I walked through the transit camp on the border between Tunes and Libya. There, forming a human chain to pass boxes of supplies into a tent, was a group of Tunisian youth, volunteering to assist the tens of thousands of migrants fleeing the conflict in Libya. They provided a welcome counterpoint to the blowing sand and steady flow of Bangladesh, Somalia, Malian and other migrants struggling across the border and into the transit camp.

Only weeks after the Tunisians sparked a regional revolution on January 14th, toppling the corrupt regime of Ben Ali and inspiring the world with their aspirations for freedom and democracy, Tunisians have once again mobilized. The newly installed government of Tunisia quickly provided security and support for transit camps. Citizens across the country have spontaneously provided food, water and blankets, and driven to the border to volunteer. The energetic singers I encountered were part of a group of 40 Boy Scouts who came eager to help. There was a palpable sense of pride in their ability to organize and act in this new era of freedom.

Some 80,000 Tunisians worked inside Libya, alongside the more than a million guest workers from around the world — 200,000 have fled thus far. Already 30,000 Tunisians have returned, often to the poorer communities in the south, which means an influx of unemployed workers and loss of remittances. At the same time, the economy is reeling from loss of tourism in the wake of recent events and loss of important commerce with Libya. And yet, Tunisians, including those in these hardest hit communities, have generously reached out, determined to help.

I traveled with Eric Schwartz, Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugee and Migration at the U.S. Department of State to understand better the needs arising from the conflict now engulfing Libya. While there, we announced $17 million of urgent assistance, bringing the total U.S. Government aid to $47 million. Our assistance to-date has gone to UN organizations on the frontlines of managing the camps and transport, to international NGOs able to provide critical help to those still inside Libya, as well as to the Tunisian Red Crescent Society, now an important conduit for volunteers.

Our new funding will target urgent assistance to the Libyans who are still trapped inside a bloody conflict as well as enabling support for those communities in southern Tunisian hardest hit by this crisis. We are inspired by them and as Americans, we are proud to mobilize alongside them in this time of crisis.

I also stopped to talk with two migrants from Bangladesh. They had worked in Libya for a year, but had not received wages for several months. Their employer abruptly shut down the construction project where they had worked. Fearful of the rising violence they headed to the border and along the way were robbed of their remaining money and cellphones. When we met, they had joined the 40 Boy Scouts, inspired as well.

Nancy Lindborg is the Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID.

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