The Ocean Freight Reimbursement (OFR) Program is the oldest ongoing Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) support program, allowing recipients to ship a wide variety of goods overseas for use in privately funded development and humanitarian assistance programs. The Program provides small competitive grants to approximately 50 U.S. PVOs each year. Funds are used to reimburse the PVOs' costs to transport donated commodities, such as medical supplies, agricultural equipment, educational supplies, and building equipment to developing countries.

While USAID reimburses the costs of ocean freight, participating PVOs are responsible for associated costs, such as commodity acquisition, warehousing, insurance, local transportation, and distribution. The program leverages resources many times the value of USAID funding. The overall private-public match of these activities averages 126 to 1. The FY2005 budget of $2.7 million mobilized more than $340 million in private resources, mainly donated or purchased goods and supplies and volunteer time.

The program is especially important for small PVOs because it allows them to participate in a USAID grant process that is highly competitive, yet not highly complex. Approximately 10 percent of the FY2006/FY2007 grantees were new to the program.

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