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."
Acting Director, USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives
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:
U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom
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
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
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.
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 Memorandum
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 Cúcuta, 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
ance will help secular and faith-based organization
s in their work with
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.
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.
Administrator Green Discusses His Trip to Northern Iraq
podcast, Administrator Green discusses his recent trip to Northern Iraq that he took with Congressman Frank Wolf.
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
Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
representatives highlighted resources and tools available.
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.
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
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
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.
- 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.
We would like to highlight your
organization's resources or projects that explain how religious and local, community engagement impact a contemporary international development issue. This month we ask that you complete this google form to share any updates about your
Contact our office at
Register for our newsletter
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) provides this newsletter service to further engage and enhance cooperation with the international development community. The listing of events, meetings or organizations in this newsletter do not constitute support or endorsement of any specific ideas, concepts or organizations by the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.