The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Citizen’s Voice Project (CVP), worth $45 million, as a part of the Kerry Lugar Berman Bill.
The CVP was launched at a local hotel here, with US Consul General Nina Fite as the chief guest. USAID Democracy and Governance Official Erin Krasik, USAID Democracy ad Governance Specialist Waseem Ashraf and Trust for Democratic Education and Accountability (TDEA) chief executive Mudassir Rizvi were also present to answer queries by the applicants for the grants.
A number of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all over the Punjab had been invited to the occasion to be briefed on the CVP and to entertain any questions they might have. The $45 million project will work to increase citizen engagement in policy advocacy and governance in the energy, economic growth, agriculture, education and health center. The three projects the US government will issue up to 500 grants over the next three years.
The US Consul General in her address noted that the project represented the largest single investment in civic and social organization in USAID’s 50 years history in Pakistan, and completed a set of US funded civil society support programs that would exceed US $ 100 million during the next four years.
Nina Fite said the US hoped the Citizen Voice Project would enable more Pakistani Organizations to constructively engage with the governments on issues of national and local importance. When civil society works in concert with state institutions to address citizen’s needs and aspirations, the impact can be unlimited.
Each quarter, the CVP will award approximately 40 grants focused on select geographic areas and issues. In the first cycle of awards, the project will issue grants dedicated to citizen over sight of municipal services, energy sector reforms and water rights.
The CVP is one of several grants projects funded by the USAID to support Pakistan-led initiatives throughout the country. The project is implemented by the TDEA.