Congress enacted the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA) in 2020 to advance peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians to enable a sustainable two-state solution. MEPPA establishes two funds and authorizes up to $250 million over five years, starting with $50 million in FY21 funding.
MEPPA programs, implemented through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), will promote economic cooperation, people-to-people peacebuilding programs, and advance shared community building, peaceful coexistence, dialogue, and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians.
The funds allocated to USAID will be guided by a fifteen-member Advisory Board with twelve members appointed by Congress in addition to a chair and two international members appointed by the USAID Administrator The Board is tasked "to consult with, provide information to, and advise USAID and other U.S. Government agencies" on the efficacy of programming and partnership options to ensure the advancement of the goals of the Partnership for Peace Fund. Members are selected from diverse backgrounds, and their collaboration is governed by the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA).
The Joint Investment for Peace Initiative
The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation’s (DFC) Joint Investment for Peace Initiative will invest in entities that contribute to the development of the Palestinian private sector economy in the West Bank.
People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund
USAID's People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund supports Israeli-Palestinian partnerships that address common development challenges. USAID will award funding through two initiatives including the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund Grant Activity and the Palestinian-Israeli Business Opportunities: Building Regional Economic Bridges (BREB) activity.
People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund Grants Activity
In line with the overall goal of MEPPA to build the foundation for peaceful co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians and enable a sustainable two-state solution, activities funded by the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund will strengthen people-to-people grassroots linkages to address common challenges and enhance peacebuilding momentum to affect institutional and policy change. This goal will be achieved through the following objectives:
- Increase partnership between Palestinians and Israelis, and Arab and Jewish Israelis, to address issues of common interest or concern.
- Bolster efforts by Palestinians and Israelis to address internal divisions that must be overcome to foster peaceful coexistence.
- Improve partnerships between Palestinian and Israeli key actors to address issues of common concern.
- Improve the enabling environment for cross-border partnership, particularly in development sectors, such that policies, procedures, and structures allow Palestinians and Israelis to engage in meaningful interactions across sectors without any barriers and fear of intimidation.
- Strengthen the resilience of peacebuilding constituencies and institutions.
The People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund Grant Activity is now accepting concept note applications. Applications may be submitted for potential awards under two categories: small awards ($100,000-500,000 each), as well as larger awards (up to $5 million each). For more information on this opportunity and how to apply: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/search-grants.html?keywords=72029423APS00001.
Palestinian-Israeli Business Opportunities: Building Regional Economic Bridges (BREB) Activity
Building Regional Economic Bridges (BREB) activity will build the foundations of peace through economic linkages. The activity will work to overcome barriers between Palestinian and Israeli private sector and promote joint economic and applied research opportunities at individual and institutional levels. BREB will build trust between buyers and sellers in the region through information sharing and joint participation in economic growth and knowledge sharing activities.
Programmatic Goal: Promote mutually beneficial partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians to increase economic growth and joint prosperity.
BREB will achieve this goal through three objectives:
Facilitate cooperative exchanges among businesses, trade associations, research institutes and individuals through support for technology transfers, joint ventures, shared research and internships/mentoring.
Assist businesses to access the Development Finance Corporation's Joint Investment for Peace Initiative and engage in cooperative exchanges.
Foster trade opportunities through increased access to new markets and improved export support services.
USAID is working to identify and engage new and local partners, learn more about how to work with us at WorkwithUSAID.org.