The United States Ambassador to Liberia, Deborah Malac, yesterday signed a US$124,755 agreement with several community groups across the country.The Self-Help Fund will provide US$99,755 in grant money to support community development initiatives focused on income generation and skills development, while the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) will provide US$25,000 to support community-based food security projects.These funds originated from two sources—the “Ambassador’s Special Self Help Funds” and the USADF respectively.According to Amb. Malac, the USADF was established in Togo in 1964 as an experimental and modest self-help program for Africa. It is now one of the most successful assistance initiatives in Africa and covers the entire continent.The US Envoy said the USADF is a grassroots assistance program that lets Ambassadors respond quickly to small community-based development projects that promise to have immediate impact.“Self-Help Fund projects always include an important and significant contribution by the participants. In Liberia this often includes provision of labor, land and other materials,” she explained.Ambassador Malac stated that since the program began in Liberia in 2004, it has funded 157 projects for a total of over US$695,000, covering all 15 counties with over 252,000 beneficiaries.She further stated that in 2009, the USADF contributed various amounts of money from US$25,000 to US$50,000 to fund small-scale projects to promote food security.USADF is an independent federal agency established to support African-designed and African-driven grassroots solutions to economic and social problems.“This year,” said Amb. Malac, ‘’the embassy received over 100 proposals, from which 17 projects were selected. Of those projects 13 will be funded through U.S. State Department’s Economic Support Funds while four will be funded from ADF grants.”This year’s projects focus on a variety of income generation opportunities including support to those in the agricultural sector for the cultivation of cassava, rice and vegetables, said the American Ambassador. Other income generation projects include skills training in soap making, beekeeping, animal husbandry and the provision of cassava grinders and machines used for processing palm oil and kernel oil.The projects this year are located in Margibi, Bomi, Nimba, Lofa, Maryland, Montserrado, Grand Kru, Grand Cape Mount and Grand Bassa counties.“We are thrilled to established these partnerships and we hope this signing ceremony is the start of a long and meaningful relationship between the U.S. Embassy and the local communities,” Amb. Malac declared.Aaron Kollie, chief executive officer of Power TV who spoke on behalf of the grantees, thanked Ambassador Malac and the U.S. government for the bilateral agreement between the two countries. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
OLYMPIA — Washington state will allow witnesses to executions to see the entire process, including the insertion of intravenous catheters during a lethal injection, state officials told The Associated Press.The new witness protocol, currently a draft that is in its final stages of approval, includes the use of television monitors to show the inmate entering the death chamber and being strapped down, as well as the insertion of the IVs, which had both previously been shielded from public view. The new technology has already been installed, and officials say the protocol will be finalized within the next week. Through public disclosure requests, the AP had sought information about any potential changes to execution protocols. State corrections officials spoke with the AP about the new procedures this week. The change is in response to a 2012 federal appeals court ruling that said all parts of an execution must be fully open to public witnesses. That ruling was sparked by a case brought by the AP and other news organizations who challenged Idaho’s policy to shield the insertion of IV catheters from public view, in spite of a 2002 ruling from the same court that said every aspect of an execution should be open to witnesses.“We have been working on this for many, many months,” Dan Pacholke, assistant secretary of the prisons division at the state Department of Corrections, said Wednesday.Pacholke said they have been researching the technology needed to make the change and followed the process currently used by Arizona, which provides an overhead view via TV monitor of the IV insertion during an execution.