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31 May 2007

USAID/OTI West Bank and Gaza Fact Sheet May 2007


In June 2005, USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (USAID/OTI) commenced a program in West Bank/Gaza in response to political openings following Palestinian leadership changes and Israel's disengagement from Gaza and parts of the northern West Bank. USAID/OTI is an integral program within the USAID West Bank/Gaza Mission.

The USAID/OTI program for West Bank/Gaza falls within the U.S. Department of State/USAID overarching foreign assistance framework goal of helping to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states responsive to the needs of their people. USAID/OTI is managing a flexible $15 million small-grants program with the following program aims:

- Supporting emerging and democratic leaders in establishing community-based credibility;

- Strengthening constituencies for peace to generate grassroots demand for change in the West Bank and Gaza.

The USAID/OTI program complements other activities of the USAID West Bank/Gaza Mission, and targets critical, time sensitive initiatives consistent with the Mission's transformational development goals and U.S. foreign policy objectives.

To date OTI has cleared 103 grants in West Bank/Gaza, valued at $5,472,431. In the period of heightened citizen expectations surrounding disengagement and the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections from August 2005 until January 2006, these grants increased the Palestinian Authority's responsiveness to citizen priorities through small-scale reconstruction projects, engagement of youth in social and economic activities, community forums, and media initiatives to facilitate improved flows of accurate information. Following the January 2006 PLC elections, USAID/OTI grants have supported the new U.S. assistance strategy objectives through targeted, discreet support to emerging leaders, independent media, and selected civil society efforts.

Grants range from $10,000 to $100,000. The contracting firm ARD, Inc. serves as USAID/OTI's implementing partner in West Bank/Gaza. ARD, Inc. maintains USAID/OTI offices in Gaza City and Jerusalem.

For further information, please contact:

Justin Sherman, OTI Team Leader, Asia and Near East, 202-712-1924

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