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USAID Awards Five Iraq Com Development Contracts


USAID Awards Five Iraq Community Development Contracts

(NGOs to help develop social, economic infrastructure)

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded five contracts to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) to promote citizen involvement in community development in Iraq.

The contracts were awarded to Mercy Corps, International Relief and Development, Inc., Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance, Cooperative Housing Foundation International and Save the Children Federation, Inc., USAID said in a May 27 press release.

USAID's community development program in Iraq will focus on community mobilization and cooperation, social and economic infrastructure development, employment and income generation, and environmental protection and management. The program will target under-represented and "at risk" groups, including women.

Following is the text of USAID's press release:

May 27, 2003

USAID Awards Grants for Iraq Community Action Program

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced award of five cooperative agreements to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) today as part of its Iraq Community Action Program (CAP). Five NGOs will receive cooperative agreements: Mercy Corps, International Relief and Development, Inc. (IRD), Agricultural Cooperative Development International and Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance (ACDI/VOCA), Cooperative Housing Foundation International (CHF International) and Save the Children Federation, Inc. Each NGO will receive initial funding of $7 million. The Iraq Community Action Program (CAP) is designed to promote citizen involvement in community development efforts at the grass-roots level and to prevent and mitigate potential conflict by empowering individuals across gender, ethnic and religious lines. The program will promote diverse and representative citizen participation in and among 250 communities and will benefit approximately 5 million Iraqis.

The goal of the CAP is to foster stability and improve Iraqis' lives by ensuring that citizens' basic needs are met within their respective communities. The CAP will provide citizens with an opportunity to participate in decision-making related to the policies that govern their lives. The program will focus on four areas: community mobilization and cooperation; social and economic infrastructure development; employment and income generation; and environmental protection and management. In addition, all CAP initiatives will target under-represented and "at risk" groups, including promoting women's rights and facilitating the participation of youth and minority groups in political processes.

USAID community action programs have a history of success in challenging post-conflict environments, and flagship programs have mobilized communities in Lebanon, Serbia and Montenegro, and Central Asia's Ferghana Valley. This grant is part of USAID's overall relief and reconstruction efforts in Iraq. For more information on the Iraq CAP and other relief and reconstruction issues, please visit http://www.usaid.gov/iraq/.

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