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FY 2008 Funding Opportunity Announcement for Programs Assisting Refugee Populations in Thailand


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November 16, 2007

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Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
U.S. Department of State
November 16, 2007
Washington, DC

The Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) values its continued cooperation with international non-governmental organization (NGO) and international organization (IO) partners worldwide. PRM will accept proposals from international NGOs and IOs that satisfy the guidelines below.

The following guidelines are issued for programs that provide health, water/sanitation support, gender-based violence prevention and response programs, income generation and vocational training to Burmese refugee populations in specific refugee camps in Thailand and are consistent with PRM's General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance.

PRM will consider proposals from international NGOs and international organizations with proven track records in implementing refugee assistance programs. Higher consideration will be given to organizations that have well-established operations in Thailand.

Funding to support Migration and Refugee Assistance programs is contingent upon Congressional appropriation of funds. Therefore, awards under this program are subject to availability of funds.

Requirements and Priorities for Proposals

Background

Approximately 140,000 refugees from a variety of ethnic groups in Burma reside in nine official refugee camps in Thailand. The Bureau will continue to support programs working in camps in Thailand along the Burmese border. These programs address needs not covered by UNHCR or other international organizations, including public health programs, gender- based violence (GBV) prevention, water and sanitation, food, income generation, and vocational training. Please note that funding in FY 2008 is expected to be limited.

In FY 2007, the Bureau supported humanitarian assistance in several refugee camps in Thailand. Under the annual appropriation, the Bureau provided $7.9M to NGOs providing services in these refugee camps ($1.7 million for health care/other services for refugee populations in Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin refugee camps in Mae Hong Son province; $4.5M for food assistance to refugee populations in Tham Hin, Nu Po, and four camps in Mae Hong Son province; and $1.75 million for primary health care/other services in Umpiem Mai, Nu Po, and Ban Don Yang camps). Generally, funds are awarded for a 12-month period. Shorter time periods may also be authorized.

Proposal Focus and Guidance

1) Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin:

The FY 2007 project in Mae Hong Son supported camp-based assistance in the areas of health, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response, and income generation support through December 31, 2007. The Bureau will accept applications from NGOs and IOs by the deadline of Midnight EST December 17, 2007 for continued humanitarian assistance in these key areas for the period Jan. 1, 2008 - Dec. 31, 2008.

In addition to complying with the general policy guidelines described under "FY 2008 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance" posted under the "How to Apply" tab in grants.gov, proposals to assist refugee populations in Ban Mae Nai Soi and Ban Mae Surin camps in Mae Hong Son Province should focus on all of the following:

  1. Improving or maintaining access to quality health care services;
     
  2. Improving the quality of life of refugee populations by addressing their psychosocial needs and developing income-generating activities, with an emphasis on the development of skills and vocational training to achieve a measure of self-sufficiency and a reasonable livelihood; and
     
  3. Strengthening the community's capacity to respond to the health, psychosocial, safety and justice needs of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).

2) Food Assistance:

The FY 2007 food assistance program provided basic rations and cooking oil for refugees in Ban Mae Na Soi, Ban Mae Surin, Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Ma Luang, Tham Hin and Nu Po camps. The Bureau will accept applications from NGOs and IOs for continued food assistance in Ban Mae Na Soi, Ban Mae Surin, Mae La Oon, Mae Ra Ma Luang (additional camps only if funding permits) by the deadline of Midnight EST February 1, 2008 for the period April 1, 2008 - January 31, 2009.

In addition to complying with the general policy guidelines described under "FY 2008 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance" posted under the "How to Apply" tab in grants.gov, proposals to provide food assistance to populations in Ban Mae Nai Soi, Ban Mae Surin, Mae La Oon, and Mae Ra Ma Luang camps should focus on both of the following:

  1. Providing nutritionally complete rations containing at least 2100 KCals/person/day to camp residents; and 
     
  2. Ensuring malnutrition rates remain at or below current levels.

3) Umpiem Mai, Nu Po, and Ban Don Yang:

In Umpiem Mai, Nu Po, and Ban Don Yang camps, funding currently supports primary health care and training services, water/sanitation support, gender-based violence prevention and response, and income generation programs through May 31, 2008. The Bureau will accept applications from NGOs and IOs by the deadline of Midnight EST April 1, 2008 for assistance to refugee populations in these camps for the period June 1, 2008 - May 31, 2009.

In addition to complying with the general policy guidelines described under "FY 2008 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance" posted under the "How to Apply" tab in grants.gov, proposals to assist refugee populations in Umpiem Mai, Nu Po, and Ban Don Yang should focus on all of the following:

  1. Improving or maintaining access to quality health care services, with a particular emphasis on the health and nutritional needs of children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women;
     
  2. Maintaining or improving camp water and sanitation and other infrastructure;
     
  3. Improving the quality of life of refugee populations by addressing their psychosocial needs and developing income-generating activities, with an emphasis on the development of skills and vocational training to achieve a measure of self-sufficiency and a reasonable livelihood. (if funding permits); and
     
  4. Strengthening the community's capacity to respond to the health, psychosocial, safety and justice needs of survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). 

Materials submitted under this announcement should address whether the applicant has obtained host government approval to implement refugee assistance projects. Organizations should describe their history of providing assistance to Burmese refugees in Thailand and level of established cooperation with UN and non-governmental organizations currently involved in addressing refugee assistance and protection in Thailand.

Submitting Proposals

Guidance

PRM will not fund projects beyond a twelve-month period. Applicants with multi-year programs must continue to reapply for PRM funding each year. Furthermore, in funding a project for one year, PRM makes no representation that it will continue to fund the project in successive years.

Please keep in mind that the budget for the proposed program should identify not only the funding request to PRM, but also those portions of the program to be funded by the NGO itself, UNHCR or other UN/IO agencies, USAID, or other donors. Proposals that receive co-funding are highly encouraged.

Organizations who have received funding in FY2007 from PRM for areas included in this announcement should include a short update on the progress made to date on the specific indicators of the project outlined in the cooperative agreement. This should be included as an attachment in the proposal.

PRM will accept proposals from any organization that is able to satisfy the requirements of these guidelines although, given our budgetary constraints, priority will be given to proposals from organizations that can demonstrate:

  • A working relationship with UNHCR and 2007 UNHCR funding and/or support for the proposed activities and/or overall country program;
     
  • A proven track record in providing assistance to refugee populations and an established presence in the countries for which they are submitting proposals;
     
  • Appropriate targeting of beneficiaries in coordination with UNHCR and other relevant organizations, as well as the relevant government(s).

NGOs that have never received PRM funding must be prepared to demonstrate that they meet the financial and accounting requirements of the U.S. government including submission of an audit report performed by independent public accountants in accordance with U.S. Government Auditing Standards before they will be eligible to receive PRM funding. Proposals inconsistent with the guidance herein may be rejected without review.

Application Process

See "How to Apply" section on Grants.gov for complete details on requirements, and note the following highlights below:

  1. Electronic submission via Grants.gov: Applicants who are not yet registered with Grants.gov should do so well in advance of the above deadline as it can take 3 to 5 business days for a registration to be finalized. Applicants who are unable to apply via grants.gov due to technical difficulties should contact the program officer listed below well in advance.
     
  2. Proposal formatting and content: Please refer to the FY 2008 General NGO Guidelines for Overseas Assistance available at http://www.state.gov/j/prm/funding/181444.htm. These guidelines are also available on Grants.gov in the "How to Apply" section.
     

For any questions, please contact:

Eileen Sen
Program Officer
Office of Assistance for Asia and the Near East
Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
U.S. Department of State
(202) 663-3715
fax: (202) 663-1061
senek@state.gov


Proposal Review Process

Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. To what extent does the proposal meet one or more of the priorities stated in the guidelines;
     
  2. Does the organization have a proven track record (capacity, past performance, and experience) in the country for which they are submitting the proposal;
     
  3. Does the applicant's implementation plan appear likely to accomplish the objectives stated in the proposal within the given time period - e.g., clear, measurable, and achievable objectives and indicators focusing on impact; well-conceived monitoring/troubleshooting plan; etc.;
     
  4. Is the budget appropriate for meeting the objectives listed and does it accurately reflect activities and capacity - e .g., appropriate staffing levels, appropriate balance between costs of running/monitoring the program vs. direct assistance to beneficiaries; cost-sharing;
     
  5. Is the project well coordinated with the host government, other NGO implementing partners, UNHCR, and/or other IOs involved? Does the program have a clear strategy for handover or sustainable continuation?

PRM will conduct a review of all proposal submissions by convening proposal review teams to evaluate proposals based on the above evaluation criteria and PRM's priorities in the context of available funding.

In order to provide NGOs and IOs with timely feedback, PRM will inform applicants of a panel's decision to recommend or not recommend funding proposed activities, and may request revised proposals and/or budgets based on feedback from the panel. PRM will follow up with formal notifications to applicants of final decisions taken by Bureau management.



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