San Francisco, April 13, 2006 — April 13, 2006 – The Asia Foundation, the premier non-profit organization devoted to Asia’s development since 1954, announced today it has won two new multi-country Asian Development Bank grants to support pilot efforts promoting poverty reduction and citizen empowerment in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Marshall Islands. These new projects, totaling more than $800,000 will go into effect immediately.
In other news, The Asia Foundation also announced that Asian Development Bank Chief Economist Dr. Ifzal Ali is hosting a roundtable discussion with leading San Francisco Bay Area executives today, Thursday, April 13, during which he will illuminate current economic patterns throughout the Asia Pacific region. The roundtable will be held at the Foundation’s San Francisco headquarters and a limited number of press seats are available.
To enable women and other disadvantaged groups to participate more fully in their local communities, and to make their specific needs more visible to government officials, the project of close to $500,000 will fund pilot citizens’ empowerment projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Pakistan. This award will enable The Asia Foundation to assist marginalized citizens in advocating for their rights, improving government accountability, and reducing poverty in their respective communities. The project runs until 2007, and will be managed through the Foundation’s Bangladesh office, which has long been active in promoting citizen participation in political processes and advancing the role of women in Bangladeshi society.
A second ADB grant of $333,000 for Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Marshall Islands will enable The Asia Foundation to design and implement pilot projects to promote increased public participation in local budget planning through the establishment of citizens’ budget fora. This grant will be managed from the Foundation’s headquarters in San Francisco and implemented through its country offices in Pakistan and Indonesia. Both of these offices have long been involved in supporting efforts to increase the voice of citizens and the accountability of government.
“These grants allow us to advance economic growth and reform in Asia, promote participatory and accountable governance, and advance the rights of women,” said Douglas Bereuter, president of The Asia Foundation.