The United States Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Kosovo awarded a $2.5 million cooperative agreement to Mercy Corps for implementation of a new Municipal Infrastructure Support Initiative (MISI).
MISI is an 18-month program that will support infrastructure improvements in municipalities in Kosovo that are making progress toward establishing conditions conducive to the return and reintegration of minorities. The program will also, in cooperation with UNMIK and other donor organizations, provide assistance to municipal governments in their efforts to improve conditions for returns and reintegration to take place.
The project is part of the U.S. Government's commitment to assist in the democratic and economic development of Kosovo. MISI will build on the success of previous USAID infrastructure programs that have spent more than $18 million on over 200 projects throughout Kosovo, including in minority and multi-ethnic communities, and have leveraged more than $1 million of in-kind and cash contributions from the benefiting communities. MISI will also require contributions from benefiting municipalities and communities, a practice that promotes citizen participation and helps to ensure proper maintenance and sustainability of the infrastructure projects.
The implementer of this program, Mercy Corps, is an international not-for-profit relief and development organization that has been active in Kosovo since 1993, and assisted with humanitarian relief in the aftermath of the conflict in 1999. Mercy Corps' work in Kosovo currently focuses on improving basic services such as water and health, promoting economic development through micro-credit programs for agriculture, and supporting the sustainable return of minority groups.
USAID is an independent federal government agency that receives overall foreign policy guidance from the Secretary of State. US foreign assistance has the twofold purpose of furthering America's foreign policy interests in expanding democracy and free markets while improving the lives of the citizens of the developing world. USAID works in over 80 countries around the world to achieve these goals.