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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Special Self-Help Programs: Project Priorities

Projects selected for SSH funding are those which:

  • Improve basic economic or social conditions at the local community or village level by funding development projects that involve the construction of schools, health clinics, and water wells;
  • Produce employment and marketable skills, such as village craft centers and agricultural cooperatives;
  • Aid the HIV/AIDS-inflicted;
  • Address global issues such as women's empowerment and the environment;
  • Provide a firm foundation for democratic processes to take root;
  • Support high-impact, quick-implementation activities which benefit a large number of people within one year without requiring further SSH assistance;
  • Involve a significant local contribution in cash, labor, or material, and are within the ability of the local community to operate and maintain; and
  • Are in direct response to the initiative and aspirations of the local community (the local sponsors of the project, who will also be its prime beneficiaries).


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