Combatting Human Trafficking
The USAID-funded MTV EXIT (End Exploitation and Trafficking) is a global multimedia initiative produced by the MTV EXIT Foundation and supported regionally by USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia in Bangkok. The program provides awareness-raising activities for youth and vulnerable populations to prevent human trafficking. Public awareness activities are a key component of the broader effort to counter trafficking in persons in Asia, and are carried out with partner governments, local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and civil society. This initiative operates throughout Asia with the support of USAID, the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the international NGO WalkFree. The $8 million public-private collaboration has leveraged $100 million in contributions from other donors.
USAID and AusAID are together awarding a new four-year, "Phase IV" of the MTV EXIT Asia campaign to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking. This $11 million agreement will establish a partnership in which USAID will contribute approximately $5.5 million to AusAID for MTV EXIT. Secretary Clinton announced Phase IV during her visit to Australia in November 2012 for the annual Australia-U.S. Ministerial.
Combatting Wildlife Trafficking
USAID supports the fight against wildlife trafficking through the Asia's Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking (ARREST) Program. Under ARREST, USAID will support a new public awareness campaign in three key Asian countries to reduce the purchase and consumption of endangered wildlife species. ARREST addresses the illegal wildlife trade in Asia by reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife and other natural resources, strengthening law enforcement capacity to deter the illegal trade, and reinforcing and sustaining regional learning networks and partnerships. The new consumer demand-reduction awareness campaign will be launched in Thailand in late January 2013, with subsequent launches in Vietnam and China.
The campaign will feature opinion leaders from all sectors of society — including government, business, sports, and entertainment — and will run as public service announcements in television, print, and Internet media. The ARREST implementing partner, FREELAND Foundation, is designing and conducting the campaign with other Asia-based civil society groups that are part of the ARREST Program, and in partnership with government agencies and media corporations in Thailand, Vietnam, and China.
USAID also supports INTERPOL to combat the trafficking of wild tigers and their parts. Project PREDATOR is an INTERPOL project designed to support countries in their governance and rule of law with respect to conservation of wild tigers. Project PREDATOR develops governmental support by holding high level police, customs and wildlife enforcement seminars and encourages the use of modern intelligence-led enforcement practices to maintain the rule of law with respect to tiger conservation.
With support from USAID, INTERPOL’s Project PREDATOR will finalize trainings and preparations with the Royal Thai Police and in other tiger range countries in East and South Asia to carry out “Operation Prey”, which will target the illegal trafficking of wild tigers and their parts. An operation is comprised of stimulating the intelligence flow and supporting intelligence management and analysis that enable national officials to carry out their enforcement mandates. The Chiefs of Police of INTERPOL's member states, including those from tiger range countries, have officially endorsed this effort.
Trade and Investment
USAID manages the ASEAN Technical Assistance and Training Facility (TATF), a collaborative and flexible assistance program that provides technical support and training through the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN’s sectoral bodies in all three ASEAN pillar communities, including political-security, economic, and socio-cultural. The ultimate goal of TATF is the development of a secure, prosperous, and democratic Southeast Asia, promoting greater cooperation and understanding between the people of the United States and ASEAN. TATF provides a whole-of-government implementation model that works with various U.S. Government entities to support ASEAN integration, including collaboration with the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and U.S. Department of Commerce to support the ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement and cooperation on standards with the U.S. Department of Energy to support ASEAN-U.S. and energy cooperation.
Upcoming TATF activities include a seminar in Burma to support the country’s full integration into the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and capacity building the Government of Burma must undertake to be ready to join the AEC in 2015. A follow-up seminar is planned in Burma that will address the country’s chairmanship of ASEAN in 2014, focusing on how the country can better prepare for, and optimize its role as an effective ASEAN Chair. The audience for both seminars will consist of Government of Burma officials, the private sector, and civil society.
Disaster Risk Reduction
The Asia-Pacific region is the world's most natural disaster prone region. To help Asian countries mitigate that risk, USAID supports regional programs that assist with disaster preparedness and response. USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance is partnering with non-governmental organizations on six programs in Burma, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The programs seek to reduce risks for vulnerable coastal communities by enhancing warning systems, increasing community disaster preparedness and knowledge, and reducing exposure to hazards.
In Indonesia, USAID will support installation of tsunami sirens in areas that lack public warning systems, a community radio station to reach all 62,000 residents in 33 villages, distribute more than 800 radios to Indonesian coastal communities, establish Community Based Action Teams in coastal communities, and train nearly 300 members in search and rescue, radio communication, relief distribution, and other disaster response skills and other activities.
In Vietnam, USAID will support introduction of community-based disaster preparedness and risk reduction measures, such as evacuation mapping and drills, training of approximately 300 local officials in disaster management and risk reduction, integration of DRR into primary schools curriculum, and teacher training.
In Burma, USAID will support the review and development of land use planning guidance, with a focus on coastal communities, training of 300 carpenters on disaster resilient construction and green building concepts, retrofitting and upgrading of existing cyclone shelters in 10 communities, and other activities.
The President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) is an interagency initiative led by USAID in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, PMI was expanded to include the Greater Mekong Sub-region to support malaria control in affected border regions in six countries in the Mekong region: Burma, Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam
PMI anticipates procuring and distributing 625,000 long-lasting insecticide treated bed/hammock nets, 1,500,000 multi-species Rapid Diagnostic Tests to scale up and fill gaps in diagnostic testing, and 750,000 ACT treatments. PMI also will provide support to distribute these commodities, train and supervise health workers and village malaria volunteers, strengthen behavior change communication strategies for malaria prevention and control at the community level, and build necessary capacities to monitor progress toward country and regional malaria goals.
The PMI is a core component of the Global Health Initiative. Since 2005, the PMI in the Greater Mekong Sub-region has supported national malaria control programs at the national and community levels to work toward containing drug-resistant malaria. This year, Thailand, a Greater Mekong leader in malaria control and in line with USAID’s procurement reform agenda, approached USAID to request direct funding for selected activities.
The new government-to-government agreement reflects the commitment between USAID and the Royal Thai Government’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Department of Disease Control, Bureau of Vector Borne Diseases. The agreement will empower the Thai MOPH to more efficiently implement U.S. Government resources for community-based, border-area malaria control activities and drug efficacy studies. This two-year agreement focuses on sub-regions with documented cases of artemisinin resistance along the border areas of Burma and Cambodia.
Last updated: October 25, 2013