Fact Sheet
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
April 1, 2012


United States Department of State
Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia
Foreign Operations Assistance Fact Sheet, April 2012 *

BELARUS

Flag of Belarus is a red horizontal band at top with one-half-width green horizontal band below; on hoist side is white vertical stripe with red Belarusian national ornament. 2004.

U.S. Government (USG) assistance to Belarus seeks to support the Belarusian people in achieving a government that respects their democratic rights and fundamental freedoms. USG programs are focused on promoting the opening of space for the free expression of political views, advancing human rights, and supporting the development of civil society and media freedom. USG programs also seek to empower entrepreneurs and encourage private-sector growth, fight transnational threats, and protect and support vulnerable populations by providing them with humanitarian assistance.

Recent Successes by Areas of Focus:

Peace & Security

  • Date: 2012 Description: Belarus: FY 2011 Foreign Operations Assistance by Objective* ($000s) -- Peace and Security; Governing Justly and Democratically; Investing in People; Economic Growth; Humanitarian Assistance. - State Dept ImageU.S. assistance to combat trafficking in persons (TIP) focuses on trafficking prevention and victim protection, partnering with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to increase their advocacy skills as well as public awareness, build job skills among potential victims, and assist in victim reintegration. In 2011, NGO partners conducted over 400 educational events to over 9,000 participants on the dangers of TIP. The NGOs also provided job skills training for 235 individuals identified as vulnerable to TIP; about 70 percent of whom found full time employment as a result of the program. The public awareness campaign reached wide audiences through six advertisements on national television and 35 billboards placed across Belarus.

Governing Justly and Democratically

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    BY OBJECTIVE

    FY 2011 ACTUAL

    FY 2012 ESTIMATE

    FY 2013 REQUEST

    TOTAL ($000s)

    $13,864

    $11,000

    $11,000

    Peace and Security

    $400

    $430

    $400

    Governing Justly and Democratically

    $9,605

    $8,820

    $8,720

    Investing in People

    $2,035

    $580

    $500

    Economic Growth

    $1,560

    $820

    $1,380

    Humanitarian Assistance

    $264

    $350

    $0

    Training, expert advice, and small grants were provided to more than 200 civil society groups, including think tanks, civic networks, teachers’ and youth organizations, cultural groups, and local development agencies. Projects promoted NGO activities aimed at issues of interest to citizens; raised awareness among rural communities of the potential for entrepreneurial opportunities; contributed to the development of self-government and local community activism; introduced innovative programs on integrating the disabled into society, as well as preventing domestic violence and HIV/AIDS; and pursued national historical, cultural and natural legacy preservation.
  • In FY 2011, the USG provided 29 grants to local NGOs focused on issues such as health and social advocacy, environmental protection, civic education, strengthening local communities, cultural preservation, and youth leadership. These grants increased community awareness of the issues involved, encouraging participatory citizenship as a vital step in organizing and addressing these issues.
  • U.S. assistance also funded 11 grants for projects proposed by alumni of U.S. exchange programs. These grants not only reinforced concepts that had been introduced during the exchange programs but also helped expose wider numbers of Belarusians to those concepts. One such grant provided funding to initiate a volunteer project for cleaning up and renovating a neighborhood in Gomel (Belarus’ second largest city), a concept which is now hugely popular with the community residents, who now feel ownership of the project.

Investing in People

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    BY ACCOUNT

    FY 2011 ACTUAL

    FY 2012 ESTIMATE

    FY 2013 REQUEST

    TOTAL ($000s)

    $13,864

    $11,000

    $11,000

    Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia

    $13,864

    $11,000

    $0

    Economic Support Fund

    $0

    $0

    $11,000

    USG support for vulnerable groups such as orphans, victims of trafficking, and people with disabilities helped improve the capacity and capability of 790 service provision organizations, more than doubling the 2011 assistance goal. USG programs used Belarus’s existing systems and NGO networks to increase local ownership of issues and ensure service sustainability. As a result of local stakeholders' cost-sharing, over 9,000 vulnerable people benefited from USG-supported social services.

Economic Growth

  • Date: 2012 Description: Belarus: FY 2000-2010 Foreign Operations Assistance - State Dept ImageIn FY 2011, over 400 private Belarusian firms received USG-supported training in marketing, accounting, human resources, and other aspects of business management. The training programs covered all six regions of Belarus.
  • Programs also supported Belarusian business associations’ joint preparation of the National Business Platform 2011, a set of 104 business community recommendations on improving the national business environment. The business community and civil society’s consistent advocacy efforts for liberalization, coupled with the economic crisis, pushed the GOB to its first steps on the path to reform: Belarus improved its position in the 2012 World Bank’s Doing Business rating to 69th place out of 183 (the Eastern Europe and Central Asia regional average is 77).

Humanitarian Assistance

  • Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the accident at Ukraine’s Chornobyl nuclear power plant, which is located close to the border with Belarus, the USG provided $6.2 million worth of medicine to help Belarusians suffering from health problems resulting from radiation exposure and other adverse effects associated with the disaster.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Coordinator's Office Annual Reports
U.S. Embassy Website
www.foreignassistance.gov

*This fact sheet does not reflect centrally managed or regional Foreign Operations funding that is not specifically budgeted for Belarus.

[This is a mobile copy of Foreign Operations Assistance: Belarus]