Burkina Faso + 7 more

USAID assistance to the West African regional program

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published

BUDGET (in '000s)
FY 2001
(Actual)
FY 2002
(Estimated)
FY 2003
(Request)
Development Assistance/ Child Survival
$ 28,613
$ 30,399
$ 27,649
Economic Support Fund
$ 695
$ 1,550
$ 0
Total
$ 29,308
$ 31,949
$ 27,6

BACKGROUND

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has implemented and maintained sub-regional development programs throughout West Africa for the past 25 years. The West African Regional Program (WARP) consolidates and coordinates regional activities under the Sahel Regional Program and the Family Health and AIDS Program, coupling them with new activities for a more effective and rational approach to achieving development results in the region. WARP is developing partnerships with West African regional organizations, including the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS).

OBJECTIVES

Reducing poverty, mitigating conflict, and promoting democracy are critical goals for USAID and our development partners. They are central to U.S. national security and regional stability. A prosperous and democratic Africa will benefit the U.S. economy as a partner in trade and investment, will be a more effective collaborator in improving global health and confronting such diverse threats as environmental degradation and global terrorism, and will reduce the need to supply U.S. humanitarian funds in response to recurring crises. Ultimately, it will help create a more peaceful world in which the U.S. can thrive. Program objectives have been developed within this context to contribute to all USAID goals.

PROGRAM AREAS

Strengthening Regional Integration: WARP intends to promote economic growth through regional economic integration by providing its key partners with technical assistance for:

  • promoting the expansion of cross-border trade among the member countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Togo) of ECOWAS;

  • strengthening regional private sector business and trade associations in the areas of organizational design, financial management, and activity implementation;

  • increasing awareness of issues associated with World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements and globalization with a view to expanding trade between the United States and ECOWAS countries;

  • creating a policy and regulatory environment that will encourage trade and investment throughout the region; and

  • furthering the establishment of a gas pipeline and power pool in the ECOWAS region for electrical energy exchange and trading.

Improving Health Care: WARP's health program is intended to promote the use of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and child survival services in the member countries of ECOWAS. The program is expected to:
  • increase the use of HIV/AIDS and child survival services in the region;

  • strengthen advocacy for policy changes in the organization and delivery of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS and child survival services;

  • reinforce the capacity of African institutions to plan, implement, and evaluate programs in these areas;

  • increase the efficient use of resources in these technical areas and establish a system for monitoring and evaluation of program interventions;

  • enhance the availability of commodities for reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and child survival, including such items as oral rehydration salts (ORS) and bed nets; and

  • promote civil society participation in the provision of reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and child survival services.

Family and Reproductive Health resources will be used to increase the use of reproductive health services in the region.

Improving Food Security and Environmental/Natural Resource Management: WARP's program to increase food security and improve natural resources and environmental management in West Africa is concerned with:

  • improved regional food security monitoring and disaster mitigation systems;

  • improved regional monitoring and impact reporting systems in the area of environment/natural resources management (ENV/NRM);

  • increased capacity of agricultural and ENV/NRM organizations and networks to communicate their priority concerns to key decision makers; and

  • identification and implementation of regional solutions to improving agriculture and reducing poverty.

Preventing Conflict: WARP's Conflict Prevention program comprises:
  • providing training and technical assistance to ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Mechanism;

  • furnishing training, capacity-building and supporting interventions for regional civil society organization (CSO) networks active in conflict prevention; and

  • promoting exchanges of information and joint programming activities among this Conflict Prevention program, USAID bilateral mission programs in democracy/governance and conflict and other donors working in the area of conflict prevention.

The Conflict Prevention Program uses FY 2002 development assistance resources to consolidate activities initiated in FY 2001 and to support conflict prevention efforts in the Mano River Union border areas (Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia). These will include:
  • commencement of training and technical assistance activities planned under a grant to ECOWAS to support the establishment of the Conflict Prevention Mechanism;

  • enlargement of the scope of the initial program to provide training to related conflict prevention mechanisms and groups, including the Council of Elders and the Mediation and Security Council; and

  • development of a small grants mechanism to support key CSOs undertaking conflict-related interventions in cross-border community conflicts;

  • coordination of regional Trafficking in Persons (TIP) projects with civil society groups, U.S. Government agencies, regional and international organizations, regional governments, and other donors to maximize impact of limited resources and minimize duplication;

  • support to local and international organizations that work on prevention and protection of victims, such as facilitating the cross-border return of former child soldiers and abducted women in the Mano River Union (MRU) region (Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone);

  • support for victims of torture in the MRU region through counseling and treatment programs for women who have been victims of abduction, legal assistance and support to victims, elevating public awareness of the situation, launching advocacy initiatives, and assisting human rights groups;

  • design of a comprehensive framework to promote medium to long-term conflict prevention and peace building efforts in the MRU border areas; and

  • support to cross-border activities that promote peace-building and economic rehabilitation among communities in The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and the Casamance region of Senegal, as a way of supplementing USAID/Senegal's peace-building efforts in the region.

OTHER PROGRAM AREAS

Economic Support Funds (ESF): Congress established ESF to promote economic and political stability in strategically important regions where the United States has special security interests. The funds are provided on a grant basis and are available for a variety of economic purposes, like infrastructure and development projects. In FY 2002, ESF will increase transparent, balanced, independent public information throughout the countries of the Mano River Union: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. ESF will purchase capacity and programming for regional broadcasting to encourage free political dialogue in the area. Broadcasting will be in locally used languages and will include coverage of educational matters, news and information, national reconciliation, and cultural entertainment.T

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