The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

May 2018 Newsletter


Dear Friends,
tim photo
On May 29th, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released the 2017 International Religious Freedom Report. Twenty years ago, our Congress passed the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act -bipartisan legislation that affirmed the importance of promoting international religious freedom as a key aspect of America's foreign policy. As U.S. Ambassador at Large for IRF Sam Brownback eloquently reminded us: "We all have a stake in this fight...Our right to choose the road our conscience takes is inalienable." As an immediate follow up, Secretary Pompeo will host a 'Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom' in Washington on July 25-26. This will convene government and religious leaders, rights advocates, and civil society from around the world to discuss challenges, identify concrete means to push back against persecution and discrimination, and ensure greater respect for religious freedom for all.


Timothy Lavelle
Acting Director, USAID Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

Executive Order on the Establishment of a White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative
U.S. President Trump signed an Executive Order to ensure that faith-based and community organizations have strong advocates in the White House-and throughout the rest of the Federal Government. Read   more

U.S. Department of State International Religious Freedom Report for 2017
The U.S. State Department released the 2017 annual report on International Religious Freedom, which highlights the status of religious freedom in over 190 countries globally. Read  more

U.S. Assistance to Burma and Bangladesh
During USAID Administrator Mark Green's  travel to Burma and Bangladesh, USAID announced $44 million in additional humanitarian assistance to meet the needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and people affected by violence and conflict in Burma. Read  more.

U.S. Commits Additional Funding to Combat Ebola
USAID is contributing up to $7 million at this stage to combat the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Read more 

Power Africa Memorandum of Understanding with Republic of Korea
USAID Administrator Mark Green and Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Strategy and Finance for the Republic of Korea (ROK) Kim Dong Yeon signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) toward pursuing energy goals in Sub-Saharan Africa. Read  more .

Religious Leader Engagement in El Salvador
CFOI traveled to El Salvador to meet U.S.Embassy staff and numerous religious leaders, and faith-based development partners to discuss their work in gender-based violence, trafficking-in-persons, and the forthcoming return of Temporary Protected Status populations to El Salvador.  Read  more .

International Multi-religious Delegation to Burma
A high-level Burmese and international multi-religious delegation organized by Religions for Peace presented to the peoples of Burma a shared vision of peace and development. Read  more .

The Anti-Corruption: The Global Fight Handbook
The   Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)   developed a new handbook that outlines the kinds of corruption, their effects, and the ways people and governments combat corruption through civil society action and legislation. Read   more .

Toolkit: Responding to Attacks Against Humanitarian Action
In order to promote a more protective environment for the provision of humanitarian aid to civilians, Harvard's Humanitarian Academy's  Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) and Action Against Hunger developed a toolkit to offer guidance to humanitarian actors for responding to violence against humanitarian action. Read more .

Women's Economic Empowerment and Equality (WE3) Dashboard
USAID launched the WE3 dashboard as an interactive tool used to explore data related to women's economic, social, and political inclusion. Read more .  

Africa Investment Rising Roadshow
USAID Trade and Investment Hubs were premiere sponsors and core collaborators on the Africa Investment Rising Roadshow, an inaugural four-city tour that forged new connections between U.S. and African business leaders in key growth sectors. Read more.

Elimination of Trachoma in Nepal and Ghana
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and Republic of Ghana for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem. Read more.

Office of Global Aids Coordinator Briefing on HIV Treatment Results
Ambassador Deborah Birx released new PEPFAR HIV treatment results and gave a briefing on PEPFAR's accomplishments as it marks its 15th anniversary. More than 14 million men, women, and children are on treatment. Read more.

World Council of Churches 70th Anniversary
The World Council of Churches (WCC) celebrates its 70th Anniversary working for Christian unity and action. The WCC's 348 member churches represent over 500 million Christians in more than 110 countries and territories. Read  more.

Highlighted funding opportunities from
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab For Food Safety (Apply by June 22; Opportunity Number 7200AA18RFA00024): Feed the Future Innovation Labs are intended to be collaborative research programs between U.S. universities and host-country universities or national research institutions.
  • South Africa Community-Based Violence Prevention (Apply by June 25; Opportunity Number 72067418RFA00008):Reduce Gender-based violence (GBV) and intimate partner violence (IPV), which is essential to achieving epidemic control in South Africa. 
  • Yemen Systems, Health and Resiliency Project (Apply by June 30; Opportunity Number 72027918R00001): Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) seeks opportunities to collaborate to strengthen Yemen's Health Sector.
  • Nutrition Innovations in Complex Environments (Apply by May 2019; Opportunity Number 7200AA18R00044): Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) to seek participants to collaborate on innovations to prevent and treat nutrition vulnerabilities in complex environments. 

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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.