A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

(U.S.) AIDing the Daily Star

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 7, 2009

Still anxious about the future of Lebanon’s Daily Star? Me, too.

Or at least I was, until H kindly forwarded a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Awkar, announcing the latest round of USAID grants: $50,00 for the Bakers’ Syndicate, $50,000 for Kunhadi, and $49,900 for the Daily Star.

I am a strong supporter of Lebanese bread, seatbelts and road safety, and investigative reporting, although if you scroll down to the description of what the Daily Star grant will cover, you may agree with me that its quite a bit to address in a weekly one-pager. And there are a few mysteries here, like: Why does the Daily Star get $100 less than the other two organizations? Why isn’t its grant mentioned in the press release’s headline?

U.S. Embassy Announces Grants for Workers Health and Traffic Safety

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Lebanon awarded three new grants through its Transparency & Accountability Grants (TAG) program implemented by AMIDEAST.

The TAG program is providing the American University of Beirut, Faculty of Public Health, working in partnership with the Syndicate of Bakery Owners and the Syndicate of Bakery Workers, with a $50,000 grant. The grant will increase awareness about existing legislation which addresses workers’ health and safety issues and encourage the enforcement of legislation.

The U.S. Government continues to support the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities by giving KunHadi, a non-governmental organization, a $50,000 grant to work in partnership with the Ministry. With the grant, public awareness materials, including television shorts, will be developed to promote road safety and respect for driving laws.

The Daily Star, the only English-language newspaper in Lebanon, will use its $49,900 grant to produce a weekly one-page section for six months. This special page will increase access by readers to information on issues such as education, environment, health, women’s rights, consumer concerns, protection of minorities, migration, migrant workers and government reform.

The TAG program, initiated in 2001, is a $9.3 million project that awards small grants to civil society organizations throughout Lebanon. The grants focus on increased transparency, accountability and good governance, and mobilize organizations to take initiative and play an active reform role.

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2 Responses to “(U.S.) AIDing the Daily Star”

  1. dadavidovich said

    I think it is for the resuscitation of the Daily Star’s Examiner. See the AngryArab for what may have happened last time USAID tried this:

    http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2007/08/pressures-on-daily-star-how-us.html

    • I do remember this story – both the Examiner’s story, and the fuss afterward – and am glad you mentioned it. H and I were both a bit surprised that the Embassy and the DS would be willing to work with one another again, but as H noted: “beggars can’t be choosers”. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the Examiner II focuses its work on :).

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