We refer you to http://www.state.gov/s/special_rep_afghanistan_pakistan/133902.htm for the Pakistan Country Assistance Strategy.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have a strong bilateral relationship. Multiple high-level visits in 2010 deepened this relationship at the personal and institutional level and enabled senior officials from both countries the chance to discuss means of improving coordination. Secretaries Clinton, Gates, Napolitano, and Chu each visited Saudi Arabia in 2010, meeting with King Abdullah and other Saudi leaders. From the Saudi side, King Abdullah visited President Obama in Washington in June 2010. These visits also allowed leaders and senior officials to communicate to the people of both countries the importance and focal points of the relationship.
Intelligence and security cooperation in the fight against terrorism is a pillar of our bilateral relationship. We continued to enjoy strong coordination with our Saudi partners on these issues through regular high-level discussions and close working-level collaboration. Symbolic of this coordination was the assistance Saudi authorities provided in relation to the attempt by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists to carry out an attack using package bombs in October. The major arms sale of F-15s and helicopters notified to Congress in October also illustrated our commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s legitimate security needs, including the fight against terrorism.
Saudi Arabia made progress in its campaign to counter extremist ideology in Saudi Arabia and internationally. Examples of progress include a historic fatwa issued by Saudi Arabia's Council of Senior Scholars (the country's highest religious body) and endorsed by King Abdullah criminalizing terrorist acts and the financing, aiding, or abetting of terrorists; the removal from the classroom of over 2,000 teachers over the past two years for promoting extremist ideology; and continued domestic and international efforts to promote religious and cultural tolerance and moderation. The U.S. also continued to press for further progress in key areas, including revision of school textbooks to eliminate passages that seem to promote intolerance or incite violence. For more detailed information on Saudi efforts to counter extremist ideology and areas where further steps are needed, please see the following reports: the 2010 Human Rights Report and the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report.
Like other countries in the region, Saudi Arabia sought to find meaningful economic and civic opportunities for its people, over 70 percent of whom are under 30 years old. The King has clearly enunciated an economic reform agenda. Saudi Arabia made progress in implementing this agenda in 2010, particularly in the closely related area of education, yet significant challenges remain. While the Saudi government welcomes certain forms of volunteerism and civic participation, its reform agenda in these areas is less clearly enunciated. The United States continued to support the Saudis in the reforms they are undertaking by facilitating Saudis studying in the United States and other educational exchanges; by encouraging increased bilateral trade and investment and urging Saudi Arabia to take actions necessary to attract job-creating partnerships with U.S. companies; and by targeted programming in areas that include judicial reform, local governance, and women’s entrepreneurship. The United States encouraged the Saudi government to take concrete steps to increase opportunities for civic participation in 2011, including holding previously delayed municipal council elections and allowing women to participate in those elections.
U.S.-Saudi collaboration was not confined to bilateral issues: we consulted closely with the Saudi government on regional stability in the Arab and Islamic worlds, for example in Yemen and on Middle East peace. The United States welcomed the Saudi government’s decision to host a Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting and the additional budget support it provided in October 2010 to the Palestinian Authority. Saudi Arabia has shown a desire to improve relations with an inclusive Iraqi government, and the United States encouraged all of Iraq’s neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, to increase the scope and scale of their relationships with Iraq.
Four of the five broadcast entities under the supervision of the Broadcasting Board of Governors: the Voice of America (VOA), the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), and Radio Free Asia provided programming for Muslim audiences.
The BBG used the latest communications technologies to combat jamming and to reach new audiences through digital and other communications tools, such as webchats, blogs, and other applications featured on comprehensive websites.
The Middle East
Arabic. In 2010, Radio Sawa, a 24/7 network of stations designed to reach the Arabic-speaking population under the age of 35, broadcast 325 newscasts per week providing news about the Middle East, the United States and the world. Radio Sawa also offered discussion and informational programs such as the Sawa Chat interactive feature and the Free Zone, a weekly review and discussion of democracy and freedom. According to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Radio Sawa has a weekly reach of 17.6 million people.
Radio Sawa broadcast on FM in:
Radio Sawa also broadcast on medium wave to Egypt, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and throughout Sudan; it was available on the Arabsat, Nilesat, and Eutelsat satellite systems.
Alhurra Television covered 21 countries in the Middle East via the same satellites used by major indigenous Arabic channels. In the last three years, Alhurra consistently averaged approximately 26 million weekly viewers and was the only Arabic-language network to have dedicated correspondents at the White House, State Department, Congress, and the Pentagon.
The network launched three new programs:
Iraq. Every week, 73 percent of Iraqi adults—some 9.5 million people—listened to or watched one of the four BBG broadcasters serving the country: Alhurra TV, Radio Sawa, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Free Iraq, and Voice of America (VOA) Kurdish. Alhurra was the leading TV channel among hundreds available by satellite and locally with 32 percent daily and 64 percent weekly reach. Radio Sawa had 28.7 percent weekly reach and was the number one radio station for Iraqis. Radio Free Iraq, with 10 percent weekly reach, was among the top five radio stations for news. VOA Kurdish reached 12 percent of its target audience weekly.
Radio Free Iraq. In 2010, Radio Free Iraq (RFI) concentrated on three major themes: the aftermath of the March 7 elections and the subsequent effort to form a new government; the security situation before and after the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq; and, the national census as a step toward steady political development.
Kurdish. VOA’s Kurdish Service is the only international broadcaster that speaks to Iraq’s Kurds in their main dialects, Sorani and Kurmanji. Although the target audience is the Iraqi Kurd population, the Kurdish Service regularly covers developments in neighboring Iran, Turkey, and Syria, all of which have sizable Kurdish minorities. The Service broadcast three hours of radio programming seven days a week via FM transmitters in the cities of Sulaimania, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Erbil. During the parliamentary elections in Iraq, VOA’s Kurdish Service utilized stringers in Baghdad, Sulaimania, Kirkuk, Mosul, and Dohuk, and interviewed 30 candidates from different parties and coalitions. The Kurdish Service increased the number of video reports produced for Internet audiences, and postings on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter increased the number of visitors to the service’s Sorani and Kurmanji sites. A 2010 survey indicated an increase of 1.3 percent over the 2009 weekly listening rate of six percent of Kurdish adults in Iraq.
VOA Persian News Network. VOA’s Persian News Network (PNN) continued to expand its reach through television, with about 13.6 million adults watching the broadcasts weekly. PNN is the top international broadcaster to Iran with 19.6 percent of the adult population watching at least once weekly. The PNN website is one of VOA’s most active with an average of 1.7 million visits per month. PNN also oversaw 12 Facebook sites, five blogs, and a YouTube channel.
PNN’s popular show, Parazit, attracted more than 17-million Facebook page views last month. YouTube recorded another 3.5 million uploaded views of the show. Static, the highly popular weekly 30-minute satirical program, has more Facebook fans than any other Facebook page in Iran.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda’s programs include newscasts at the top of each hour, followed by reports, features, interviews, and regular segments on youth, women, culture, economy, and politics. Radio Farda’s 2010 highlights included:
Turkey. VOA’s Turkish Service covered U.S.-Turkish relations and U.S. institutions and values. The Service’s web site, updated with top news seven days a week, offered English teaching programs, a daily web radio program, video and audio clips, and the ability to post comments by users. It was also accessible by web-enhanced mobile phones and similar devices and content was distributed on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook. In response to strong demand from its TV affiliate, TGRT News Network in Turkey (one of the top five all-news networks in Turkey), the service increased the frequency of its 15-minute live TV news and analysis broadcasts from three to four times per week. VOA Turkish also produced a weekly 30-minute magazine show that was aired on TGRT.
Radio Free Afghanistan. According to research by InterMedia, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Radio Free Afghanistan (Radio Azadi) was the most trusted and most listened-to radio broadcaster in Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the only country in RFE/RL’s broadcast region where U.S. government-funded broadcasters are the dominant media outlets. Radio Azadi provided breaking news, in-depth reporting and analysis, and programming emphasizing the promotion of democracy, the rights of women, and minority and religious tolerance. Radio Azadi provided live and extensive coverage of major national events, including the 2010 presidential and parliamentary elections, the international conference held in July in Kabul, and the consultative peace Jirga of June. The Service’s Dari and Pashto websites increased viewership by 500%, while the Facebook and Twitter pages were visited 2000 times per day. The Service also launched SMS and citizen journalism projects and Intelligent Voice Recognition (IVR) and MMS projects with the help of the Etisalat telecommunications company in Afghanistan. Radio Azadi received an average of 250 SMS messages daily.
Voice of America (VOA) Ashna TV. VOA’s Afghan Service increased its efforts to reach out to Muslim audiences with the debut of “Karwan,” a 30-minute weekly TV show aimed at Afghans under age 25. Daoud Seddiqi, a popular Afghan personality, hosted the program and solicited feedback from viewers through Facebook and YouTube. TV Ashna’s programs have explored topics such as the proposed construction of an Islamic Center near the 9/11 site and the increasing political activism of Muslim Americans. On the lighter side, the Service produced a piece on a new comic book, with a Muslim Super-Hero, inspired by President Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech.
VOA Ashna Radio. With more than five million listeners across Afghanistan, VOA’s Ashna radio maintained its competitive edge among the top ranking media. Ashna covered all of the major news in Afghanistan through reports from its stringers and interviews with analysts and government officials in Afghanistan. Live coverage of the September 18 parliamentary elections was one of the most important stories of the year. VOA’s Managing Editors visited the polling stations, providing live reports regarding allegations of election fraud. Full coverage of press conferences held by the Elections Commission and protests by the candidates were included in VOA coverage. The service made progress using its website as a hub for all of its TV and radio programming in the Dari and Pashto languages – website hits increased to an average of 2,000 daily in the last quarter of the 2010, compared to 1,500 in 2009.
VOA Urdu. VOA Urdu TV’s weekly 30-minute show, in English and Urdu, profiled a variety of American Muslims, and tackled myths and realities of American life. Positive comments from viewers in Pakistan and around the world were posted on VOA’s YouTube and Facebook pages, as well as the Service website, which opened a “Comments” application in 2010 to support viewer feedback.
The Urdu TV service ran other long-format shows on local Pakistan network, GEO. Segments included Hello America, a video Q&A show between Pakistani and American citizens; Campus, a weekly spot plus blog on the experiences of Pakistani students when they study at U.S. universities; and Melting Pot, which highlighted multicultural life in the United States.
VOA Urdu’s 12/7 Radio Aap ki Dunyaa (Your World) broadcast on shortwave, medium wave, and on 11 FM frequencies operated by the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.
The Pakistan/Afghanistan Border Region. VOA Deewa Radio’s daily nine-hour broadcast provided accurate, timely news to over 30 million Pashtuns in an area dominated by state-controlled media and the Taliban-run Mullah Radio. The radio station reached its target audience via radio, internet, and available social media tools, attracting at least 1000 callers everyday to its four interactive call-in shows. Research performed through InterMedia showed Deewa Radio leading the BBC and other international media in audience share in target region. Deewa’s network of 30 stringers helped provide listeners with reports on Pakistan’s devastating floods; U.S. assistance for the flood victims; Pakistan’s military campaign against Taliban forces; and the challenge of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons.
On January 15, RFE/RL launched Radio Mashaal (“Torch” in Pashto), a broadcast service directed to Pakistan and the Afghanistan/Pakistan border region. Radio Mashaal provided breaking news and in-depth coverage of developments in the Pashtun region, and focused on issues of religious tolerance, culture, countering terrorism, and promoting understanding. Interaction with the audience through call-in shows and message recording was emphasized.
Bangladesh. In 2010, VOA Bangla produced numerous radio and television features on Muslim youth, Islamic centers in the United States, and other topics. The Service’s television program, Washington Barta, broadcast special coverage from Ground Zero on the 9/11 anniversary, and a feature on women-led Eid prayers at a local Mosque. The Eid feature stoked a strong response, driving YouTube numbers higher than any other feature aired. The Service ran interviews with U.S. and Bangladeshi officials, including one with the first member of the House of Representatives who is of Bangladeshi descent, Rep. Hansen Clarke.
Kazakhstan. RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service is delivered primarily through its Internet platform, continuing radio programming for one hour in the evening with a one-hour repeat in the morning. This web strategy helped to attract a younger audience to this bilingual (Kazakh and Russian) site, providing more opportunities for interactivity and exploring new genres such as video reporting. The Kazakh government’s continuous effort to block internet resources that host what it believed were hostile blogs left a number of young bloggers in the country without a platform. In response, the service offered “Blogistan”, a blog platform on RFE/RL’s web site (under RFE/RL editorial control) that began with a handful of young bloggers and became a social platform for bloggers who regularly post on RFE/RL’s “Radio Azattyq” site. In December, a collection of the best blogs on Blogistan was published as a book and distributed.
Kyrgyzstan. RFE/RL’s Kyrgyz Service radio and TV programs were the first to return to the air nationwide, just one day after the April 7 anti-government uprising in Kyrgyzstan. A December survey conducted by the Kyrgyz State National University showed that the service was considered the most reliable Kyrgyz-language media information source. A new three-day-a-week “hard news” radio talk show provided straightforward discussion on religion, politics, and culture. Twice monthly, the service organizes "Chaihana" (Tea House) roundtables at its Bishkek bureau where five to seven guests engage on a variety of topics such as Islam and democracy and the Kyrgyz mentality.
Tajikistan. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Tajik Service is the largest independent media outlet in Tajikistan and the top international broadcaster in the country. As the country's only source for unbiased information, the Tajik service was repeatedly criticized by the Tajik government for its coverage.
Uzbekistan. Lacking a local bureau since it was closed in 2005, and operating in adverse conditions, Radio Free Europe’s Uzbek Service continued to provide news coverage and supported democracy promotion in Uzbekistan. Its TV program and daily 30-minute radio broadcast featured interviews with U.S. and international sources on such topics as terrorism, religious extremism, and U.S.-Uzbek relations. The Uzbek Service launched uzmobil.com, distributing Voice of America (VOA) news to mobile phone subscribers in Uzbekistan. VOA Uzbek reports were also accessible on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
East Asia and Pacific
China. Radio Free Asia’s (RFA) Uighur language service is the only international radio service providing impartial news and information in the Uighur language to the potential audience of more than 16 million Uighur Muslims in Western China and Central Eurasia. Consistent with RFA's mandate, the Uighur service acted as a substitute for indigenous media reporting on local events in the region. The service broadcast two hours daily, seven days a week. Programs included breaking news, analysis, interviews, commentary, a weekly news review, and feature stories. News and stories featured interviews with various U.S. and international sources, including Chinese and Uighur dissidents worldwide. RFA's Uighur service well-trafficked website streamedthe daily RFA broadcast in Uighur and offering ongoing coverage of events in the XUAR in text, image, and video.
RFA confronted Chinese jamming of RFA broadcasts and the blocking of its website by broadcasting on multiple short-wave frequencies and regularly e-mailing instructions on accessing the banned www.rfa.org through proxy web servers. RFA provided users with instructions on how to directly access the RFA website through anti-censorship software.
Indonesia. VOA’s weekly audience in Indonesia grew from 10.5 to 16.2 percent, or more than 26 million people, largely because of the placement of short program segments on popular national TV stations. VOA Indonesian TV products were regularly seen on eight of Indonesia’s 11 national stations, in addition to more than 20 local and regional stations. In 2010, the Service launched a new radio program on the Radio Dangdut Indonesia network. During Ramadan, VOA produced a special series on Islam in the United States, which was carried by national stations. The Service produced eight hours daily of original radio programming for a network of more than 230 affiliate FM and medium wave stations across the country. Radio programming included five-minute Headline News reports, aired 32 times a day, seven days a week.
The Russian Federation
Throughout 2010, VOA’s Russian Service has systematically addressed issues related to Islam in the target area. A special section on the website, dealing specifically with developments in the North Caucasus region, was launched.
Tatarstan/Bashkortostan. The Tatar and Bashkir communities are the two largest Muslim communities in Russia. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's (RFE/RL) Tatar/Bashkir Service is the only major international broadcaster in the Tatar and Bashkir languages; it provided listeners with objective news and analysis. The service’s web page has become a virtual meeting place for people to discuss these issues. VOA Russian also targeted these communities, who largely rely on Russian language for their news and information. Since May 2010, there were over 100,000 visits to VOA’s Russian website Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.
As a result of the ban by the Azerbaijani authorities on affiliation between local and international broadcasters, the Internet was the main platform of delivery for RFE/RL’s Azerbaijan service. A multimedia web portal was updated daily with additional materials on tolerance. The audio and video products of the Service were delivered via three short-wave frequencies and satellite to audiences in Azerbaijan and the neighboring provinces of Iran.
Nigeria. Broadcasts of Voice of America’s (VOA) Hausa Service reached most of the estimated 90 million Muslims in Nigeria and Niger. In Nigeria, where the language is spoken by over 75 million people, VOA has a 36 percent weekly audience share. In January, the service covered the violence between Muslims and Christians in Plateau State. A forum with call-in programs for listeners to discuss ways to promote harmony between the two communities was provided and in January, the Service conducted two town hall meetings in the Nigerian states of Adamawa and Taraba, which were attended by thousands of people. Throughout the year, VOA Hausa engaged Muslim audiences with a weekly program called Islam in the United States, while its web site posted “Eid” listener greetings to mark the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Ethiopia and Eritrea. VOA’s Horn of Africa Service broadcast 17 hours a week in three languages: seven 60-minute broadcasts in Amharic, five 30-minute broadcasts in Tigrigna, and five 30-minute broadcasts in Afan Oromo. In addition to shortwave, these languages now air live on VOA24, a 24/7 channel on Arabsat satellite television.
Somalia. The Somali Service broadcast to an almost all-Muslim audience estimated 16 million people in the Horn of Africa, including 10 million in Somalia. Service broadcasts were heard on short wave, as well as on FM affiliate stations in Somalia, Kenya, and Djibouti. The Somali Service web site reached an estimated two million Somali speakers outside the Horn region.
In late 2010, the Service ran a five-part series on young Muslim women. An October town-hall meeting, held in Nairobi, focused on Somali radicalism and its effects on East Africa.
Swahili. VOA’s Swahili Service broadcast to large Muslim populations in Tanzania, Kenya, as well as to significant Muslim communities in Uganda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Manema province.
French to Africa. VOA’s French to Africa Service broadcast 23 hours weekly on radio via shortwave and to an array of affiliates across the region to the 250 million French speakers in Africa, many of whom live in predominantly Muslim countries such as Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad. A weekly interactive program, “Dialogue of Religions,” featured guest experts on issues of concern to Muslims and took listener calls. VOA’s French to Africa service also broadcast a 30-minute weekly television program.
In countries with predominantly Muslim populations, the pursuit of economic growth is a method of achieving sustainable social benefits – such as increased rates of education, health, and employment – that ultimately can minimize the pressures that can lead to radicalization. USAID activities often focused on improving the regulatory or business enabling environment, so that the power of private sector investment, both domestic and foreign, could be leveraged to increase business activity and trade. A battery of program interventions were designed and implemented to pursue measurable results in the commercial, legal, and regulatory framework that would significantly lower the costs, obstacles, and time required for doing business.
GLOBAL TRADE CAPACITY BUILDING
Albania. The United States provided technical assistance and training in information technologies, trade knowledge and skills, technological innovations, business management, and compliance with international regulations and standards.
Egypt. USAID/Egypt provided assistance to Egyptian government ministries to develop their institutional capacity regarding trade reform, by providing technical assistance by local and expatriate professionals, training, mentoring, and information technology.
Indonesia. The Enterprise and Agribusiness Development Activity/Competitiveness Program (SENADA) attempted to generate growth, jobs, and income by increasing the competitiveness of at least five labor-intensive manufacturing industries: furniture, auto parts, garments, home accessories, and information and communications technology.
The Indonesia Trade Assistance Project (ITAP) provided assistance to the Ministry of Trade to build and strengthen capacity related to the analysis, negotiation, and implementation of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements. ITAP helped the Ministry to implement institutional reforms and to strengthen inter-Ministerial and inter-Agency frameworks that were expected to better equip Indonesia to further compete in international markets. The objective of these reforms was to fuel growth, trade, and employment.
Iraq. U.S. assistance helped Iraq prepare positions on four of the 12 World Trade Organization (WTO) Global Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS) sectors: Tourism, Financial Services, Telecom/Postal and Courier, and Computers/Research and Development Services. After helping to establish the National Investment Commission, the U.S. government assisted the Commission in developing by-laws and implementing regulations for investment law, and created a one-stop-shop to promote international investment in Iraq. The U.S. government also provided aid to revise the Investor Guide and the Investor Road Map in preparation for the October Iraq Investment Conference.
Jordan. The United States provided technical assistance to the Government of Jordan in its negotiations to accede to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement, and actively engaged to improve the trade and investment climate in Jordan through training sessions for Jordanian government officials in Intellectual Property Rights and export assistance. Services funded by the U.S. government to small and medium enterprises included the development of human resource systems, financial systems, strategic planning, market research, developing interactive websites, customer relations management systems, and conducting training on information, communication technologies, and trade-related advice.
Kazakhstan. USAID programs provided assistance in trade capacity building in Kazakhstan. USAID efforts were expected to simplify and accelerate trading across borders as well as decrease costs to businesses.
Kyrgyz Republic. USAID’s trade capacity building support in Kyrgyzstan focused on ongoing efforts to reduce investment constraints and facilitate trade by providing assistance for Kyrgyzstan to meet its WTO obligations, to develop trade services for importers and exporters, and to reduce barriers to cross-border trade.
Morocco. U.S. assistance helped Moroccan producers access international markets through the introduction of improved management of production and processing techniques in order to meet international standards. Through the USAID Economic Growth program, U.S. government assistance improved trade knowledge and skills among Moroccan companies for more effective export planning. The New Business Opportunities Program helped export-oriented Moroccan firms to take advantage of new possibilities for entry and expansion in the United States created by the Morocco-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Nigeria. Trade capacity building activities increased due to the startup of several activities under the Global Food Security Response (GFSR) initiative. Increased support to the agriculture sector resulted in increased yields, better links between producers and processors, and ultimately improved access to domestic, regional, and international markets. New activities included work on improving the legal and regulatory framework for customs, an assessment of the main north-south trade corridor, and capacity building for trade facilitation with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. New GFSR resources allowed U.S. government activities to have a greater impact in areas such as customs reform and trade corridor improvement. Work with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) included a full review of the legal framework and enabling legislation for NCS.
Pakistan. The USAID Pakistan Trade Project (PTP) addressed factors that impeded trade, such as the need for customs reform, harmonized border procedures, and simplified trade processes. The USAID Pakistan Firms, helped Pakistani businesses become internationally competitive so they could capture new export opportunities. Together these activities focused on assisting sectors that offered the greatest opportunity for growth and new employment.
Tajikistan. Four USAID projects and the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) program worked to build trade capacity in Tajikistan. USAID’s Economic Reforms to Enhance Competitiveness project helped reorganize the Tax Committee to create a more tax-friendly environment for traders by improving administration procedures and clearly defining national and local taxes. The Regional Trade Liberalization and Customs project provided advice, analysis, and recommendations to the government to bring its legislation into compliance with World Trade Organization agreements. The project also worked to reduce barriers to trade, transport, transit, custom clearance, and border crossing through mechanisms consistent with international standards. The Business Environment Improvement (BEI) project helped develop a more enabling environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including small traders, and more specifically helped the government inventory all licenses and permits. With BEI support, the government performed a legal analysis of the legislation “On Special Economic Zones” (SEZ) in Tajikistan and helped with the creation of the Sughd SEZ. BEI was also active in alleviating local administrative barriers throughout Tajikistan. EXBS assistance to Tajikistan enhanced its capacity to establish an effective strategic trade control system and effectively control its border.
West Bank and Gaza. USAID’s trade facilitation activities helped improve the speed, efficiency, and security of the movement and access of people and goods within the West Bank and between the West Bank and Gaza and Israel. The Trade Facilitation Project helped boost trade in the West Bank and Gaza by building capacity within the Palestinian Authority and private sector counterparts, promoting Palestinian-Israeli cooperation on border management and security, and conducting analyses to facilitate the movement of people and goods. These undertakings resulted in almost $3.5 million in private sector cost savings over the fiscal year.
Central Asia Regional Program. “Trade Capacity Building” support in Central Asia had two primary goals. The first was to provide on-going advice, analysis, and recommendations to the Governments of the Central Asian Republics in reviewing their legislation for compliance with World Trade Organization agreements and regulations associated with trade. The second goal was to facilitate the implementation of a Single Window and Single Administrative Document processes for customs in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI economic programming focused on region-wide economic and employment growth driven by private sector expansion and entrepreneurship, providing the kind of economic opportunity that created more stable, prosperous communities. Examples of MEPI’s collaborations with people in the region include entrepreneur training exchange projects, technical assistance in support of free trade agreements, promotion of international labor standards, and reform of banking regulations and lending processes to encourage business growth.
The Department of Commerce’s Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) supported the implementation of U.S. Free Trade Agreements. Assistance included legislative reform, bilateral training in international commercial law, workshops aimed to reduce technical barriers to trade, and technical assistance with bankruptcy, title, collateral, World Trade Organization dispute resolution, and alternative dispute resolution.
The USAID Africa Regional Bureau program fostered policy, legal, and regulatory action to spur trade and investment and build capacity. Business enabling environment assessments were completed for Burundi and Uganda. East Africa Regional Analyses for trade and credit were produced as part of an ongoing collaboration with The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa and USAID/East Africa. Regional Intellectual Property Protection Workshops were conducted in West Africa (Ghana) and Southern Africa, with the cooperation of the Economic Community of West African States, the Southern Africa Development Community, U.S. Customs, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The workshop in Ghana trained 150 participants from fifteen countries of West Africa and 10 Ghanaian intellectual property agencies and industry representatives.
Assistance was provided for energy projects in Botswana and Nigeria. Significant results were the World Bank Board of Directors signing of an International Development Association loan agreement for US$ $200 million and commitment to US$ 400 million of Partial Risk Guarantees to support the sale of natural gas by independent oil companies to three electricity sector projects in Nigeria. The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) program provided capacity building to a network of six software development centers at universities in sub-Saharan Africa, facilitated capacity building of the West Africa Telecom Regulatory Association, and established an ICT and Business Center in Malawi.
The USAID ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement program worked to increase intra-ASEAN trade and global competitiveness within two of ASEAN’s 12 priority sectors: textiles/apparel and tourism. Together with the ASEAN Federation of Textile Industries, the program launched the Source ASEAN Full Service Alliance. This strategy created alliances of stakeholders along the supply chain that offer a one-stop shop for international apparel buyers.
In 2010, USAID/Asia and Middle East Bureau’s total basic education assistance for the region was approximately US$ 583 million, of which approximately US$ 550 million was targeted in predominantly Muslim countries or in Muslim majority populations within a country, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Philippines (Mindanao), West Bank/Gaza, Yemen, and the Central Asian Republics. USAID/Europe and Eurasia Bureau’s education assistance benefitted Kosovo and Macedonia and totaled approximately US$ six million. USAID/Africa Bureau's total education assistance for the region was approximately US$ 223 million in Basic Education, of which US$ 48.4 million benefitted Muslim populations in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and through regional programs in several other countries.
Coordination of the International Effort. USAID collaborated closely with the State Department’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the U.S. Department of Education on literacy reform. As a result of the June 2009 broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Community and Technical College Workshop in Amman, 10 awards ranging between US $100,000 and US $150,000, each for 18-months’ partnerships between U.S. community colleges and community and technical colleges in the BMENA region, were awarded.
Leveraging Contributions from the Private Sector and Civil Society Organizations. USAID's Global Development Alliances, also known as public-private partnerships, are tailored to country-specific needs and the private sector partners' interests. In 2010, Partners For A New Beginning was established to broaden and deepen engagement between the United States and international Muslim communities by building public-private partnerships that advance economic opportunity, science and technology, education, and exchange.
U.S. Government Coordination to Reduce Duplication and Waste. MEPI and USAID coordinate to avoid potential duplication of efforts and investments and to maximize results. A modest number of MEPI-funded education programs, notably the support for the Arab Civitas network, are implemented in conjunction with USAID. In Yemen, USAID and MEPI work together to increase community and student engagement in school management.
Innovation and Technology. USAID/India Technology Tools for Teaching and Training (T4) employed educational technologies to educate poor and disadvantaged children studying in public schools in Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar states. By combining technology tools with sound pedagogy and effective teacher training, USAID and its partners developed interactive radio, video, and computer programs that simplified the teaching of difficult concepts in various subjects, including language, math, science, and social studies. T4 reached more than 24 million children. In addition, USAID/India’s Youth Skill Development Initiative provided education in basic life and employability skills to deprived out-of-school youth, effectively linking their education to the skills demanded by the new economy. The program provided training to these youth in market-oriented skills, such as computer usage, spoken English, and communication and customer relations to make participants more employable. Over 38,000 youth were trained in the states of Delhi, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra. Seventy-five percent of the trainees received employment and many opted for further studies. Designed as a public-private initiative, 50 percent of the program costs came from non-USAID sources. Finally, USAID/India implemented a program in over 500 madrassas in Hyderabad, West Bengal, and Andra Pradesh that introduced formal curricula, enrolled and retained out-of-school children, improved the quality of education, and prepared madrassas to meet government standards. Over 50,000 Muslim children were provided with formal education in the two states.
In Afghanistan, USAID’s basic education program totaling US$ 72,844,000 continued to build the skills of Afghan partners to deliver basic education and literacy training for out-of-school youth and adults. U.S. assistance increased access to quality basic education by improving learning materials and instructional quality; offering community-based education opportunities, youth, and adult literacy programs; and by renovating and building schools. To support U.S. government stabilization goals, USAID initiated emergency education activities for over 20,000 children affected by conflict in the south and east. U.S. assistance provided low-literate and unemployed youth in two provinces with access to vocational training and second-chance primary education programs. Community-based education reached over 60,000 children in areas with no government schools, and a youth and adult literacy program provided learning opportunities for over 151,000 learners, 60 percent of whom were female. U.S. government in-service teacher training, the printing of 21.5 million textbooks, and assistance with school materials and security have strengthened educational programs that reached 2.3 million (one third) of Afghan school children. The training of 40,850 teachers and over 3,800 literacy teachers was complemented by follow-up classroom support to help improve the quality of basic education programs. Programs on pedagogy, instructional content, and research methods updated teaching skills for over 700 education professors involved in pre-service education of secondary school instructors.
Community participation in education significantly expanded in 2010. More than 4,200 U.S.-trained school management committees monitored classes and teacher performance, contributed furnishings and materials, aided teacher recruitment, and collaborated with district and provincial officials. Small grants made capital improvements at local schools. U.S. assistance also strengthened Ministry of Education employee recruitment and performance evaluation systems, and established an electronic database for employees.
In Bangladesh, the focus was on early childhood development to improve enrollment, retention, and performance in primary schools. USAID funded the Promoting Talent through Early Education program to develop a pre-school curriculum and increase learning skills and access to educational opportunities for 39,710 pre-schoolers. In 2010, USAID trained over 1,700 primary school teachers in targeted areas on interactive teaching methodologies that included health, nutrition, and sanitation components. The $8.3 million USAID-supported Sisimpur, the Bangladesh version of Sesame Street, aired 181 times and was the most widely viewed children’s television show in Bangladesh, reaching over 10 million children on a weekly basis.
In India, USAID’s basic education activities benefited 43 million students and 361,959 teachers in eleven states. Programs promoted the use of technology to improve teaching and learning in the classroom and interventions that linked education to employment. The skills development technology and madrassa programs attracted nearly a 2:1 match for every dollar invested. This amounted to a $1.8 million private sector investment, which was 80 percent in capital and 20 percent in-kind support for market surveys, curriculum development, training, and placements. In FY 2010, activities benefitted over 100,000 Muslim children in approximately 1,200 madrassas. Strong government ownership in Andhra Pradesh ensured continued support to mainstream basic education in the targeted madrassas.
In Indonesia, the Decentralized Basic Education initiative resulted in 76 district governments officially budgeting for USAID Basic Education programs in more than 10,000 schools across seven target provinces benefiting more than 57,388 educators, 22,998 administrators, and 468,312 students. USAID also supports Jalan Sesama, the Sesame Street Workshop that reached 7.5 million children to help them succeed in primary school. In FY 2010, the Opportunities for Vulnerable Children program assisted children with special needs to attend inclusive education programs.
In Kyrgyzstan, USAID launched a youth aid for education initiative, which provided 1,042 pre-school children with a 100-hour school preparation program, and an additional 723 children with school supplies and support to enroll in school. USAID trained 2,091 school administrators, representing 386 secondary schools, to meet the development and emotional needs of children, teachers, and parents affected by the civil unrest in April and June in southern Kyrgyzstan. USAID worked directly with three in-service teacher training institutes and developed six in-service training programs that trained teachers to encourage higher order thinking. USAID also supported a Development Credit Authority student loan program and the American University of Central Asia. The student loan program increased access to higher education and vocational training for students, particularly those from rural areas, by creating a replicable, private-sector tuition financing model.
In Tajikistan, USAID’s program expanded access to quality primary and secondary education. Five new training programs for competency in Tajik language, math, chemistry, and biology were developed and adopted by the government. In FY 2010, over 1,500 primary and secondary teachers and 100 school principals were trained with USAID resources on modern teaching and learning approaches. Technical assistance was provided to the Ministries of Education and Finance to reform education financing using a per capita model that the government expanded nationwide in all 68 districts. USAID also supported 86 schools in Vakhsh and Kulob.
In Egypt, USAID’s assistance focused on K-12 schools in underprivileged urban areas in Cairo and Alexandria, and the five Upper Egypt governorates of Aswan, Qena, Beni Suef, Minya, and Fayoum. Specific USAID interventions continued to reform the “Teacher Cadre” law that established a revolutionary system for hiring, training, and promoting teachers; improving student assessment and developing the National Education Standards; strengthening the education management information systems; and using technology in schools to enhance teaching, learning, and school management. The program built 98 schools that included computer centers serving over 44,000 students in underserved communities; provided over 24 million books for libraries and classrooms in all 39,000 public primary, preparatory, and secondary schools in Egypt; and supported Alam Simsim, the Egyptian Sesame Street, which is viewed by 85 percent of Egyptian children.
In Jordan, the Government of Jordan’s Education Reform for a Knowledge Economy started its second phase (2010-2020) to deliver quality education to Jordan’s children. In FY 2010, and on target, three of 28 schools were completed and opened for the 2010-11 school year. Also in 2010, over 4,000 teachers and educators received training on the use of new technologies, quality assurances for the delivery of sound kindergarten education, school-to-career activities, the school as a community center, and school counseling. At the end of FY 2010, procurement was completed for a small project to provide assistance for small-to-medium private schools to be ready to receive and repay loans from micro finance institutions. USAID established 26 Community Parent School Coalitions where new schools were being constructed or where rehabilitations and expansions are taking place. Finally, USAID/Jordan supported a program called Drive to Read that has reached 5,000 children in disadvantaged neighborhoods in Amman and Zarqa. Hikayat Simsim, the Jordanian Sesame Street, reached approximately 10,000 children through its outreach component and the distribution of educational materials.
In Lebanon, USAID launched a new basic education program in 2010 to develop rehabilitation assistance to public schools and provided professional development opportunities for teachers. The program targeted all of Lebanon’s 1,300 public schools and aimed to enhance student achievement through interventions such as bolstering learning environments through physical repairs and provision of equipment; increase learning opportunities through in-service teacher training and extra-curricular activities; and increase stakeholder engagement in public schools. Additionally, USAID/Lebanon provided financially disadvantaged students with scholarship assistance at the American Community School and the International College.
In Morocco, USAID launched a new education and youth program in 2010 to address school quality issues and to work with students who dropped out of school prematurely. The project targets middle schools, where there is a critical shortage of teachers, an increasing student population, and high drop-out rates. The Out-of-School Youth Development program provided educational services for out-of-school youth, developed policies to facilitate coordination of such service delivery, and built institutional networks to strengthen the youth development field in selected regions of the country.
In Pakistan, the State Department and USAID worked to improve both access and quality of education opportunities to give at-risk youth greater opportunities. USAID trained 222 master trainers and 405 education managers, improved administration and academic supervision, and supported federal, provincial, and district education officials for school management and planning, including procuring and training for the National Education Management Information System. In the underserved areas of Baluchistan and Sindh, USAID improved the teaching skills of 42 percent of public primary school teachers. By the end of 2009, 399 schools emphasized critical-thinking curricula, 3,770 teachers were trained in interactive teaching and learning skills, and 67,000 library books were donated to 15 schools, benefiting 6,000 students. USAID assisted the Ministry of Education in the formulation of a strategic framework for teacher certification and accreditation. USAID’s Strengthening Teacher Education in Pakistan Initiative developed national standards for teacher certification and accreditation and improved networking among government teacher training institutions. Under the FATA School Rehabilitation and Construction Program, USAID supported the rehabilitation and furnishing of 58 public schools and two Government Colleges of Elementary Teachers in FATA. The schools were completed and handed over to the FATA authorities. The State Department targeted English language teaching programs to Pakistan’s most marginalized communities in an effort to increase their access to education, jobs, and participation in other U.S. government programs.
In the West Bank and Gaza, USAID assisted the Palestinian Authority to codify its priorities in the education sector as demonstrated by the Palestinian Education Development Strategic Plan for 2008-2012. USAID constructed and rehabilitated classrooms to improve the teaching and learning environment and sustain the current percentage of basic education school enrollment at 100%. In 2010, USAID supported the Model Schools Network to encourage professional networking among schools and linkages between schools and their communities in order to foster communities of learning. USAID also promoted positive educational messages that are both entertaining and educational to pre-school children through the Palestinian Sesame Street, Shara’ Simsim, with episodes that focused on numeracy, literacy, tolerance, and non-violence.
In Yemen, USAID worked at the central, governorate, and community-district levels to strengthen the capacity of communities, schools, and the Ministry of Education to sustain educational improvements. USAID’s education program activities included school renovations, adult literacy support, support to increase community participation in school management, and teacher professional development in reading, writing, and mathematics. The program established baseline data on target student competencies in math and science.
In Kosovo, the $2,190,000 program improved access and education quality for primary and secondary schools resulting in a reduction of shifts from four to three in some areas and from three to two in others with a goal of achieving no more than two shifts by the end of 2012. The FY 2010 target of 225 classrooms was exceeded by 15 classrooms, resulting in over 26,000 students experiencing improved learning environments in their schools. The government of Kosovo provided matching contributions of $1.6 million.
The Africa Bureau supported a US$ 100 million East Africa Counterterrorism Initiative that provided basic education opportunities in marginalized Muslim communities, particularly in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
In Ethiopia, activities in Muslim-dominated areas in Somali, Afar, Benishangul, Gumuz, and Oromia regions included teacher training to improve the quality of primary education; provision of capacity building training for Parent-Teacher Associations and community members to increase parent and community involvement in school management; grants to schools to enhance learning and teaching, building the capacity of education officers to improve the planning and management of the education system; and establishment and expansion of alternative basic education centers to provide non-formal primary education to children, especially girls; and adult literacy classes for illiterate Muslim men and women.
In Kenya, USAID’s Education for Marginalized Children concentrated on the North Eastern and Coast Provinces; nearly 470,000 children were reached in the two provinces in FY 2010. Approximately 250 Early Childhood Development Centers were supported and over 4,000 teachers were trained in child-centered teaching methods. The School Infrastructure Program successfully built 107 classrooms, three dining halls, eight dormitories, and 2000 desks. The program expanded from seven to 15 districts, providing assistance in every district of both Provinces. USAID/Kenya’s Education Office also oversees the Garissa Youth Project, which provided livelihood and workforce readiness programs for ethnic-Somali youth susceptible to recruitment by Somali terrorist organization al-Shabaab. The program addressed underlying conditions in the Garissa region that are thought to contribute to the local Muslim population’s experience of marginalization. The youth program partnered with USAID’s Office of Military Affairs to pilot the District Stability Framework, a tool to gauge the level of instability within Garissa and to help coordinate an inter-agency response, as well as action by the youth themselves through an $800,000 youth fund. This was the first pilot of the Framework outside of Iraq, Afghanistan, or Yemen.
Tanzania. USAID/Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Global Development Alliance with Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, and two local partners—UhuruOne and Zantel—to support a $49 million 21st Century Basic Education Program. USAID/Tanzania enhanced service delivery in Zanzibar, while adding two pilot districts (Lindi Urban and Mtwara Urban) on the southern Tanzanian mainland. Over 30,000 secondary-, 230,000 primary-, and 26,000 pre-primary school students benefitted from U.S. government support targeting education delivery systems at local, district, and regional levels. In addition, innovative radio instruction activity focused on pre-primary and primary-level education and established 180 informal learning centers in two districts in Zanzibar as well as piloted radio instruction in 246 primary-school classrooms. Isolated communities in rural areas established 95 Community Learning Centers in seven districts in mainland Tanzania providing equitable access to education for 23,500 children.
In Uganda, USAID supported the Aga Kahn Foundation's Madrassa Early Childhood Development Program, which targets poor districts and allowed communities to establish and manage their own pre-schools. In 2010, 53 community pre-schools and 527 primary schools participated in the program. A total of 108 sub-county officials and 1,965 School Management Committee and Parent-Teacher Association members received training, and a total of 2,760 pre-school children and 93,126 students in lower primary school benefited from the program.
In Mali, USAID conducted diverse activities in support of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership. USAID/Mali’s basic education program focused on supporting moderate Islamic schools and improving the quality of primary education for Mali's predominantly Muslim population. Assistance ($1,279,000 from 2008 to 2010) supported the training of 1,600 madrassa teachers and principals in the use of Interactive Radio Instruction programs; produced daily broadcast and practice in the reading and writing of French and didactic materials for French language learning, and assisted the teachers with techniques of balanced literacy instruction to reinforce students' reading and writing skills. In the three northern regions of the country, USAID provided scholarships for over 6,000 disadvantaged girls.
In Senegal, the USAID Basic Education Program provided support to 21,324 vulnerable and out-of-school youth to either enroll them in improved Quranic schools (called daraas) or return them to the formal education system. USAID also supported the rehabilitation of 51 daara, including classroom spaces, bathrooms, access to water, and provision of hygiene kits as well as training for management committees and Quranic teachers on hygiene and health. USAID also supported the development, testing, and implementation of three-year curriculums in French and math for vulnerable children in 71 daaras reaching 3,658 children (688 girls). The program, taught by 212 volunteer teachers, prepares children in religious schools with the basic skills needed to transition into the formal education system. The program also supported the development of an on-line professional development web portal. Last year, USAID tested a model to integrate information communication and technology (ICT) into teaching and learning practices in 15 schools. The private sector, including Intel and Microsoft, contributed more than $198,000 in cost-share for ICT-related products for this pilot. Finally USAID trained education officials and administrators as well as elected officials, community based organizations, and parent-teacher associations in effective education planning, budgeting, and management at the local level.
In Somalia, USAID improved the overall educational environment in at least 250 communities, through improvements to infrastructure, water and hygiene, management and instructional quality, as well as through targeted technical assistance to government education officials over three years. Through Mercy Corps, USAID was able to complete work in 11 schools in South Central Somalia in addition to its work in 18 schools in Somaliland and 27 schools in Puntland. The program rehabilitated 303 existing classrooms and constructed 144 new classrooms and provided 1,584 desks, and distributed 13,478 school kits in 51 schools, thereby increasing access for 23,896 students. The program also trained 210 educators, supported 58 Community Education Committees, rehabilitated and constructed 331 school latrines, installed 142 hand-washing facilities, improving access to water and sanitation for the 23,896 students mentioned above and 14,280 community members. Finally, the program provided training to 101 Ministry of Education officials in education management and planning. As a result, 45% of ministry officials reported new education management skills. USAID also provides Interactive Radio Instruction programs, particularly to out-of-school learners and internally displaced children.
In Sudan, formal and non-formal programs focused on primary and girls' education, teacher training and institutional development, and targeted out-of-school youth, women, girls, pastoralist communities, returnees, and other vulnerable groups. The USAID education programs had a tremendous impact on enrollment and retention. 136,705 children have been reached in primary schools in Southern Sudan and the Three Areas, and 16,449 students are enrolled in secondary school (5,528 girls). A total of 2,380 teachers and 1,135 education administrators were trained to improve the quality of education and 24,093 teaching and learning materials were distributed to teachers and learners. The programs expedited the provision of primary education and adult literacy through radio-based instruction to 9,885 adults. Conflict resolution, recovery, and prevention were integrated to support the peace process.
In Djibouti, USAID’s education program included: decentralized teacher training; strategic planning and budgeting; enhanced community participation; improving the Education Management Information System; and increasing learning for out-of-school youth. The program trained 1,100 teachers and administrators in childhood literacy and numeracy. Host country strategic information capacity was improved through support to a software application that accurately captures statistical data and training in the use of this data for more informed planning and policy decision making. To address Djibouti's chronically high unemployment and enable the Djiboutian people to leverage their own skills for continued economic growth, the program expanded education and training for employment for out-of-school youth and dropouts. A girls’ scholarship program also benefited girls and a small number of boys from needy families who otherwise could not afford to send their children to school. In addition to its bilateral program, USAID/Djibouti implemented the Ambassador's Girls' Scholarship program benefitting over 1,200 recipients. Scholarships include supplies, mentoring, clothing, hygiene kits, tutorials, payment for school fees, and HIV/AIDS awareness training. The Teachers' for Africa program provided highly skilled volunteers to assist in the decentralized teacher training program.
Nigeria. In FY 2010, U.S. government resources were focused on two Northern states, Sokoto and Bauchi, to improve the state and local government competency in: teacher training, placement and remuneration; financial planning and management; transparent data collection and use in planning and evaluation; student assessment; and community involvement. One hundred and seventy administrators were trained in various education systems strengthening areas dealing with financial management, teacher training and community involvement. A total of 64,640 learners were enrolled in U.S. government-supported primary schools and 342 individuals were trained in operational research, in support of the transparent collection of education data. Otherwise, the USAID program focused on increased quality of primary education, especially girls’ education, and teacher education and information management policy reforms. Working at the community level, the education programs ensured access to basic educational materials, improved teaching techniques, and improved pupil performance in numeracy and literacy.