For Immediate Release

Office of Press Relations

Press Release

Yesterday, USAID announced the launch of its Racial and Ethnic Equity Initiative, with plans to provide initial funding of $2.6 million, subject to the availability of funds, to ensure development programming is fully inclusive of historically marginalized racial and ethnic communities and further incorporates equity into all USAID policy, programming and learning. The Initiative will develop focused guidance for programming and technical assistance to USAID Missions, Bureaus, and independent Offices on programmatic implementation. 

Systemic marginalization and discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, or any other social category inflames conflict, erodes justice, stymies economic growth, and undermines democratic principles. Removing discriminatory barriers, and working toward full and meaningful inclusion of all populations, is a foundation of resilient democracies and critical to USAID’s work.

Propelled by the two Executive Orders on Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government – issued on January 20, 2021, and February 16, 2023 – USAID’s Racial and Ethnic Equity Initiative will build on USAID’s longstanding work to partner with marginalized racial and ethnic communities. 

The initiative, announced in an event in the run-up to the second Summit for Democracy, co-hosted by the governments of the United States, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, the Republic of Korea, and the Republic of Zambia, brings to life the fifth commitment under USAID’s Equity Action Plan, aiding USAID in its work to dismantle systemic barriers faced because of race or ethnicity and barriers faced by underserved communities. It will create pathways toward more inclusive development. 

In the coming months, USAID will develop strategic guidance that outlines an approach to embedding racial and ethnic equity considerations in USAID policies and guidance for programming, and will strengthen the capacity of our global workforce with additional tools and resources, as well as training.  

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