Director's Letter 
Dear Friends,
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Our colleagues in the State Department hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom July 24-26. Secretary Pompeo announced that this Ministerial would now become an annual event. More than 80 bilateral delegations, including dozens of minister-level representatives from around the world, were represented, as were over 500 civil society, faith-based and faith-inspired entities. The Secretary released the Potomac Declaration and the Potomac Plan of Action. These documents reassert the United States' unwavering commitment to promoting and defending religious freedom.  Moreover, five follow-on religious freedom regional summits will soon occur in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. As eloquently summed up by USAID Administrator Mark Green in his remarks during the Ministerial:  "We will respond to religious liberty under attack. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention right here that this is the area where those partnerships with faith-based organizations are irreplaceable. It is the only way this work will get done. It is the only way we'll be effective." 


Timothy Lavelle
Acting Director, USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
July 24 - 26, the U.S. Department of State hosted the inaugural Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom with the goal of reaffirming international commitments to fighting religious persecution around the world. The following outcomes of the Ministerial were:

USAID Administrator Mark Green's Remarks at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
At the inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Administrator Green spoke of the vital importance of faith-based partners in forging trusted relationships with governments and civilians around the world.  

U.S. Announces $170 million in humanitarian assistance to help vulnerable 
people in Ethiopia facing displacement and food insecurity 
The additional $170 million in humanitarian funding to Ethiopia will support about 8.5 million people by providing  emergency food and nutrition assistance, life-saving medical care, as well as programs to improve sanitation and hygiene programs . Read more.

USAID Administrator Mark Green's Remarks at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum
Administrator Green remarked on recent USAID projects in Asia and new initiatives to bolster the relationship between the American government and Indo-Pacific nations.  Read more.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces creation of the Religious Liberty Task Force 
The new Task Force will be composed of officials from the Department of Justice who are committed to implementing the Department of Justice's  Religious Liberty MemorandumRead more. 

USAID, PEPFAR, and the Government of Malawi Commence Secondary Schools Project
The U.S. Ambassador to Malawi and the Minister of Foreign Affairs signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a joint contribution to the Secondary Education Expansion for Development (SEED) initiative. This funding will help build schools in Malawi, support youth friendly health services, incorporate comprehensive sex education in the curriculum, and other initiatives. 

Additional U.S. funding for Latin America
USAID Administrator Mark Green announced an additional $6.5 million in development assistance to help Colombian communities support displaced Venezuelans and to promote democracy and human rights in Nicaragua

Administrator Green's Remarks at the Colombian Conference 
Administrator Green remarked on the cultural impact of Colombia in the United States while announcing a $6.8 million commitment to implement a 15-year strategic plan with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to bolster the national park system in Colombia. 

USAID funding for humanitarian aid for Venezuelans in Colombia
While in Cรบcuta, Colombia Administrator Green announced a $6 million humanitarian assistance from the United States to provide food and health assistance for Venezuelans in Colombia.  This additional funding brings U.S. support to Venezuelans in the region to a total of more than $56 million for humanitarian and development assistance.

Vice President Pence announces the new International Religious Freedom Fund
On the last day of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Vice President Pence announced the creation of this fund that will go to assist persecuted religious minorities. Read more.
Lutheran World Federation and Islamic Relief Worldwide publish a manual on faith-sensitive humanitarian action 
This guid ance will help secular and faith-based organization s in their work with  refugees and  host  communities by teaching them how to coordinate  more effectively with faith communities and leaders.  Read more.

The Long-Term Impact of Violence Against Women
The Wilson Center's Latin American Program and the Inter-American Development Bank hosted a discussion analyzing a number of studies that researched the impact of violence against women and the way that policymakers have approached it.  Read more. 

Feed the Future 2018 Report: A Decade of Progress 
The U.S. $3.5 billion contribution to ending global hunger and poverty, Feed the Future, marks its tenth year of delivering aid with a report reflects the impact of Feed the Future.   Read more.

Administrator Green Discusses His Trip to Northern Iraq
On the   USAID Leads   podcast, Administrator Green discusses his recent trip to Northern Iraq that he took with Congressman Frank Wolf.  Listen here. 

U.S. Grants Training
United States Commission on International Religious Freedom hosted a training for civil society organizations and foundations to learn more about the U.S. grants and contracts process. USAID and State Department Bureaus of  Population, Refugee and Migration, and Democracy, Human Rights and Labor representatives highlighted resources and tools available. Read more.  

Mandela Washington Program concludes with Fellowship Summit in D.C. 
Now in its fifth year, the Mandela Washington Fellows welcomed 700 young leaders from Sub-Saharan Africa who were hosted by 29 U.S. universities for a six-week Academic and Leadership Institute. Read more.

Communities on the Road to Recovery and Healing in Post-Ebola Sierra Leone
USAID's Advancing Partners and Communities projects introduced community healing dialogues (CHDs) in Sierra Leone to offer psycho-social support for survivors of Ebola leading to the reintegration of Ebola survivors into their communities  

USAID partnership with Sri Lankan   government  to promote reconciliation efforts 
USAID awarded $10 million to the Government of Sri Lanka for a three-year initiative that will bolster reconciliation activities in Sri Lanka.  

Catholic Relief Services receives  USAID funding to combat malnutrition in Rwanda 
CRS is implementing a 5-year, $20 million integrated nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene program that is funded by USAID in Rwanda to combat of malnutrition among children.  

AAPI Collaborates with USAID to end tuberculosis
The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) signed a MOU with USAID and other NGOs to eradicate tuberculosis in the Indian subcontinent

Freedom of Religion and Belief in the Framework of Civil-Religious and Christian-Muslim Dialogues
Adyan, a Lebanese foundation for inter-religious studies and spiritual solidarity published a White Paper with the aim of developing the religious and political narratives related to Freedom of Religion and Belief and its related policies. Read more.

Third Vatican Conference on Impact Investing
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development hosted the third in a series of biennial Vatican Impact Investing Conferences in Rome July 8-10, cosponsored by the Caritas Internationalis and the Omidyar Network. This year's theme was "Scaling Investment in Service  of Integral Human Development." Read more.
Funding Opportunities 
Highlighted Funding Opportunities from    
  • Kabul Female Prison and Detention Center Project (Apply by August 10, 2018; INL18CA0025-APAFGHANISTAN-05012018):  The goal of this program is to provide imprisoned Afghan women and female juvenile inmates with educational skills, and day care for their children. 
  • Countering Violent Extremism in the Philippines through Training, Programming, and Coordination (Apply by August 16, 2018; SFOP0005283): Through this open competition with the State Department's Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations, the winner will be tasked with increasing the capacity of researchers, local community NGOs, and local government units to address violent extremism in the Philippines.
  • Enabling Community-Oriented Policing in the Sahel (Apply by August 20, 2018; SFOP0005179): This program aims to help the law enforcement agencies, defined as the national police and gendarmerie, in the Sahel make progress towards the goal of more community-oriented policing. The program will begin in Senegal and Burkina Faso with potential expansion in Mali and Niger in option year periods.
  • Community-Based Activities to Build Civil Society and Youth Capacity in Mali (Apply by August 20, 2018; SML20018GR0005)
    An open competition for organizations to submit applications to carry out a program (or programs) to help counter violent extremism through cultural events and civic dialogue. 
  • Syria Humanitarian Assistance Consortium (Apply by September 30, 2018; 720FDA18APS00002): Under this APS, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) seeks to fund one or more consortia of NGOs working in Syria to implement a program entitled "Syria Humanitarian Assistance Consortium." 

*Note: The information below is not exhaustive, and USAID is not affiliated with, nor endorsing, any of these resources. They are provided as a convenience to prospective grant applicants.

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