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Economic Empowerment in Strategic Regions
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Economic Empowerment in Strategic Regions

EESR: Economic Empowerment in Strategic Regions banner

CREATING JOBS AND PROVIDING HOPE IN THE FIGHT AGAINST EXTREMISM

Afghan laborers pack pomegranates into boxes at a factory in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. [© AP Images]
Afghan laborers pack pomegranates into boxes at a factory in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2007. [© AP Images]
Economic Empowerment in Strategic Regions (EESR)
is an inter-agency initiative led by the State Department to forge partnerships for private sector growth. Focused initially on a few pilot regions, starting with the Pakistan/Afghanistan border area, EESR will help bring the transformative power of private sector economic development to regions where poverty, unemployment and lack of opportunity fuel support and sympathy for extremism.

Strong local private sector growth is the best antidote to the economic stagnation and hopelessness that are exploited by extremists. From Asia and Africa, to Latin America and the Caribbean, private sector development has a proven track record of preserving peace, mitigating conflict, expanding economic opportunities and lifting millions out of poverty. However, EESR target regions face a critical combination of barriers – including security threats, lack of infrastructure, information and financing, and weak legal systems – that inhibit sustainable economic growth, investment and job creation.

EESR will seek to overcome these barriers by harnessing innovative private sector approaches in regions where the challenges are greatest. Co-created by businesses, foundations and NGOs, these approaches will pair the resources and expertise of private business with the extensive local networks of foreign and local stakeholders – leveraging the unique comparative advantages of each. Whether pursued for profits or as “corporate social responsibility,” these approaches are already empowering entrepreneurs in challenging areas of the world and delivering hope and opportunity to vulnerable populations.

EESR projects will be designed and implemented through partnerships among businesses, local stakeholders, non-governmental organizations and international donors. Proposals will come from entrepreneurs and businesses in the EESR regions, diaspora communities in the U.S. and other stakeholder with ties to the EESR regions. The EESR website will provide a new web-based platform through which proposals can be posted and marketed to a wide audience. Through customized matchmaking, we will market these proposals to the private sector and help project partners seek assistance from other U.S. government agencies and other sources (subject to agency-specific program requirements). EESR will also offer local businesses and entrepreneurs a single portal for connecting with potential partners in the private sector and the U.S. Government. 

For more information on submitting a proposal, including our Suggested Guidelines, click here.

  
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