INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Ssh/Dhrf Grant Funds Support Development

Published: Fri 29 Sep 2006 10:49 AM
VZCZCXRO4632
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHOS #1239 2721049
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 291049Z SEP 06
FM AMCONSUL LAGOS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7969
INFO RUEHUJA/AMEMBASSY ABUJA 7853
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS LAGOS 001239
SIPDIS
SIPDIS
DEPARTMENT ALSO FOR AF/EPS CAROL TRIMBLE, AF/RSA
MARINDA HARPOLE
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAID ECON SOCI AFIN AMGT NI
SUBJECT: SSH/DHRF GRANT FUNDS SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT
AND DEMOCRACY IN TROUBLED NIGER DELTA
REF: SECSTATE 118206
Summary
-------
1. (U) On September 19, the Consul General signed
thirteen grant agreements to fund Special Self-help
(SSH) and Democracy Human Rights Fund (DHRF)
projects in the Niger Delta states of Delta, Rivers,
Bayelsa, and Akwa Ibom. The SSH grants fund
community development projects, including boreholes
for water wells, classroom furniture, food
processing equipment, school textbooks, a livestock
building, solar panels, and a community library.
The DHRF grants support human rights and democracy
trainings to stop violence and to facilitate the
entry of more women into the political process. All
2006 SSH/DHRF funds for Nigeria have been obligated.
End Summary.
2. (U) With the signing of thirteen grant agreements
by the Consul General on September 19, Post has
obligated funding for 2006 Special Self Help (SSH)
and Democracy and Human Rights Fund (DHRF) programs
in the Niger Delta states of Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa
and Akwa Ibom.
Community Development Projects
------------------------------
2. (U) The 2006 SSH program will fund eleven
community development projects in the Niger Delta
region. These projects will benefit over 180,000
people in communities in the Delta, which despite
its oil wealth, is one of Nigeria's least developed
areas.
Democracy Training Workshops
----------------------------
3. (U) The DHRF grants will fund democracy
training workshops through two Niger Delta
organizations. One organization will invite
community and youth leaders from ten communities in
Rivers State to a "Training Workshop to Stop
Violence," to participate in activities that promote
nonviolent political activism. The other grant
recipient will hold a three-day workshop,
"Mainstreaming Women into the Political Process in
Nigeria's Niger Delta States." At the workshop,
women will be trained in the skills needed to have a
stronger voice in local decision-making processes
and to participate more fully in local elections.
United States a Proud Partner in Projects
-----------------------------------------
4. (U) In his remarks at the signing ceremony, the
Consul General commended the SSH and DHRF recipients
for striving to improve the social and economic
conditions in their communities, and encouraged them
to continue their efforts. He urged Nigerians to
embrace political democracy and live its values. He
stressed that the United States is a proud partner,
not a "boss or a director," in the projects.
Signing Receives Press Coverage
-------------------------------
5. (U) Articles describing U.S. assistance to the
Niger Delta region and the Consul General's speech
appeared in two regional newspapers, The Punch and
The Daily Independent.
CG Visits Two Project Sites
---------------------------
6. (U) The Consul General visited two project
sites. A hospital in Delta State uses its FY2004
SSH-funded generator to operate equipment. In
Asaba, the community will install rice-threshing
equipment with their SSH grant.
BROWNE
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