Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sister Cities International Awards Grant for African Sustainability Project to the Richmond Sister Cities Commission

Sister Cities International has awarded a two-year, $115,000 grant to Richmond Sister Cities Commission to perform projects that address sanitation, health, and water issues in urban areas of Africa. This project is funded by a $7.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“This Sister Cities International program represents a major effort to address fundamental needs of citizens of urban areas in Africa," said Patrick Madden, President and CEO, Sister Cities International. "These sister cities represent some of the strongest partnerships between the U.S. and Africa and will become the measure of how cities can help each other and leave an enduring legacy in tangible ways."

The 17 grant recipients were selected by an independent panel of five experts in the areas of sister city relationships, aid administration, and international development. The other recipients include:

Baltimore, Maryland, and Luxor, Egypt
Chicago, Illinois, and Casablanca, Morocco
Delray Beach, Florida, and Moshi, Tanzania
Durham, North Carolina, and Arusha, Tanzania
Jacksonville, Florida, and Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Long Beach, California, and Mombasa, Kenya
Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, and Buffalo City, South Africa
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and uMhlathuze, South Africa
Oakland, California, and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana
Riverside, California, and Obuasi, Ghana
Seattle, Washington, and Mombasa, Kenya
Sonoma, California, and Aswan, Egypt
St. Louis, Missouri, and St. Louis, Senegal
Toledo, Ohio, and Tanga, Tanzania
Urbana, Illinois, and Zomba, Malawi
Wilmington, Delaware, and Osogbo, Nigeria

The 17 cities will join the seven city pairs that were chosen in Phase I of the program. Training with and travel to the African partner city for the newly chosen group will take place throughout the remainder of 2010.

“We are proud to be part of the second phase of the Sister Cities International’s Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program. With this grant we will be able to begin working on initiatives to improve the drinking water supply and sanitation needs in our sister city of Segou. We will continue to develop the structural relationships in technical and cultural expertise in both Segou and Richmond that will facilitate addressing other areas of civic priority for both cities, such as education, poverty reduction, and economic development.”, says Allan Levenberg, Richmond Sister Cities Commissioner and AUPAP Project Manager for the Commission.

About Sister Cities International
Sister Cities International is the only U.S.-based organization dedicated to creating long-term city-to-city relationships between communities in the U.S. and abroad. Created by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 at a White House summit, the organization is a leader in people-to-people exchanges with a network that boasts over 650 U.S. cities with more than 2,000 sister city relationships in 136 countries on six continents. Currently, the organization has 124 partnerships in 36 countries in Africa.

About AUPAP
Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program (AUPAP) is a three-year project to alleviate poverty in 25 African cities through water, sanitation, and health initiatives led by U.S. and African sister city programs. U.S. sister city programs will collaborate with their African counterparts to identify and address the most critical problems in these sectors, which form a barrier to sustained development in urban areas.

The sister cities network will capitalize on local members’ technical and professional expertise; links to city government, academia, nonprofits, and the private sector; and the long-term, people-to-people relationships they have developed over time to create projects that are both technically sound and based at the grass-roots level. Sister Cities International will also gather a group of international development experts to aid in the planning and execution of the projects.

Contact My Lan Tran at My.Lan.Tran@Richmondgov.com or (804) 646-6046 for the Richmond Sister Cities Commission. Contact Allan Levenberg at AllanLevenberg@comcast.net or (804) 241-0287 for more information about the Richmond- -Segou AUPAP program.

Visit www.sister-cities.org/africa for more information regarding Sister Cities International and the Africa Urban Poverty Alleviation Program. Facebook: Sister Cities International . Twitter: @SisterCityIntl .

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