Foreign Operations Assistance: Belarus

Fact Sheet
Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
August 31, 2016


United States Department of State
Office of the Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia
Foreign Operations Assistance Fact Sheet, August 2016*

Date: 08/2016 Description: FY 2015 Foreign Operations Assistance by Objective--Belarus: Peace and Security; Governing Justly and Democratically; Investing in People; Economic Growth. - State Dept Image

U.S. assistance to Belarus supports the Belarusian people’s efforts to encourage a government that respects their democratic rights and fundamental freedoms. U.S. assistance prioritizes the free expression of political views, the respect for human rights, the development of a stronger, more active civil society, and freedom of the media. U.S. private sector assistance increases the number of Belarusian citizens who are employed within the private and not-for-profit sectors. It also helps integrate into society those vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities and victims of trafficking, and seeks to build the capacity of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that provide services to them.

Assistance Activities by U.S. Goals in Belarus

Belarus moves toward a more democratic and free-market society.

• The United States supports a broad array of civic organizations, ranging from advocacy and human rights groups to private business associations. These efforts increase civic engagement, enhance the capacity of civil society to advocate for greater government transparency and on behalf of fundamental human rights and freedoms, and empower civic groups to play a more active role in addressing issues of public concern.

BY ACCOUNT

FY 2015 ACTUAL

FY 2016 653(a)

FY 2017 REQUEST

TOTAL ($ in thous)

7,000

8,311

9,000

Assistance for Europe, Eurasia and Central Asia

-

7,911

-

Economic Support Fund

7,000

400

9,000

• U.S. assistance facilitates policy forums, conferences, and workshops to create dialogue among political, civic, and local government leaders.

• U.S. programs support the establishment of independent print and electronic media outlets and think tanks working to increase public access to objective and diverse sources of information, to strengthen people-to-people relations, and to promote the understanding of democratic principles.

• U.S. assistance works with independent business associations to support regulatory reforms that improve the operating environment for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through legislative drafting, business associations’ advocacy efforts, and implementation of adopted reforms.

BY OBJECTIVE

FY 2015 ACTUAL

FY 2016 653(a)

FY 2017 REQUEST

TOTAL ($ in thous)

7,000

8,311

9,000

Peace and Security

241

400

221

Governing Justly and Democratically

6,465

7,320

7,147

Investing in People

15

-

-

Economic Growth

279

591

1,632

• U.S. programs bring U.S. specialists in SME development to work with their Belarusian counterparts, and engage key opinion leaders and authorities in the economic reform field for professional exchange with U.S. counterparts to promote sound economic policies and reforms.

• The United States works to increase access to business information through support of existing and emerging web portals, consultancies, non-profit entities, and local commercial entities constituting national and regional business support infrastructure.

• U.S. assistance provides training, technical assistance, and grants related to business management best practices to help increase managerial and business competencies of Belarusian micro-, small-, and medium-sized private enterprises and thus improve their competitiveness in the internal and external markets.

• U.S. programs increase financial literacy and access to finance for rural populations, as well as expand access to finance for entrepreneurs by creating opportunities to link potential investors with start-up initiatives.

Belarus as part of a Europe that is whole, free, and at peace.

• U.S. programs supporting people with disabilities promote non-discriminatory attitudes, overcoming stigma and discrimination, and a barrier-free environment with the goal to eliminate existing physical, social, and economic barriers to full inclusion of people with disabilities in social life.

• The United States supports measures to prevent trafficking in persons (TIP) through skills training and internships to increase the employment potential of vulnerable populations. U.S. programs build skills of NGOs in providing reintegration support to victims of TIP, including medical, psychological, and legal assistance.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:
State Department Fact Sheets
U.S. Embassy Website
www.foreignassistance.gov
Millennium Challenge Corporation

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