Balkan Trust for Democracy to manage new fund in Bulgaria
~ Fund will continue the legacy of the USAID reform agenda in the region ~
Contact: Elizabeth Boswell Rega, +32 2 238 5283, [email protected]
A three-year, $3-million grantmaking initiative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and GMF, the Bulgaria Fund continues the USAID reform agenda in Bulgaria and provides financial assistance to project initiatives that advance the rule of law, provide economic support for vulnerable groups, and generate a more competitive workforce and labor market through advanced training and other programs.
"We are pleased that USAID has chosen the successful model that GMF has built in the region through BTD as its mechanism for carrying on its legacy," said Craig Kennedy, GMF president. "Our partnership will allow us to pool resources and expertise that will continue the momentum initiated by USAID in the areas of reform and development in Bulgaria."
Since 1991, USAID has supported programs in Bulgaria that have made significant progress in a number of different areas such as reform of the judicial system, increasing transparency in local and national government, the provision of public services to citizens, and enhancing economic opportunities as a whole. Funded by USAID and implemented by BTD, the Bulgaria Fund will continue USAID's programming assistance in those areas that still remain incomplete. Priority areas will be good governance, support for marginalized populations, and education and competitiveness.
The launch event featured keynote addresses by U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle and Minister of Justice for Bulgaria Miglena Tacheva. Event provided potential grantees with information on the Bulgaria Fund's core objectives, strategic focus, and first call for proposals.
At the event, Ambassador Beyrle told gathered NGO representatives: "I encourage you to design innovative programs that build upon and enhance the impact of what former initiatives have achieved, add depth to the capacity of public and civil institutions, and work together to continue to shape Bulgaria into a promising home for future generations."
The Balkan Trust for Democracy (www.gmfus.org/balkantrust/) is a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) based in Belgrade, Serbia. It supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in 10 southeastern European political entities: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia, including Kosovo.
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (www.gmfus.org) is a nonpartisan American public policy and grantmaking institution dedicated to promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the United States and Europe. Founded in 1972 through a gift from Germany as a permanent memorial to the Marshall Plan assistance, GMF maintains a strong presence on both sides of the Atlantic. In addition to its headquarters in Washington, DC, GMF has seven offices in Europe: Berlin, Bratislava, Paris, Brussels, Belgrade, Ankara, and Bucharest.
United States Agency for International Development (www.usaid.gov) is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the U.S. Secretary of State. The agency supports long-term and equitable economic growth and advances U.S. foreign policy objectives worldwide.