WASHINGTON — A White House initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump to help women in developing countries get ahead economically announced its first batch of grants on Wednesday: $27 million for 14 projects in 22 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

A little more than half of that amount, $27 million, went to an “incentive” fund for partnerships with private businesses and other groups. The 14 projects sharing the $27 million were chosen from over 120 entries, administration officials said Wednesday.

The projects are meant to help women with employment and entrepreneurship and to provide women in business with access to financing and other assistance.

They include an effort in Rwanda to help 1,400 women get into the central African country’s fast-growing energy sector; a Latin American initiative that aims to equip 8,700 women with the skills needed to work tech-sector jobs in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and support for 5,000 women working in Indonesia’s poultry industry.

USAID Administrator Mark Green and Ivanka Trump discussed the partnerships and the goal of helping women get ahead economically at an event Wednesday with representatives from three of the 14 programs.

Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior White House adviser, said she welcomed the “enthusiastic” response to the program, whose goal is to help empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.

She said the initiative is just beginning. But, she said, “we have no doubt it is going to enable us to really achieve extraordinary things” while spending U.S. taxpayer money “responsibly.”

Green told the audience of White House and administration officials, members of Congress, business leaders and representatives of nonprofit groups that every proposal was subjected to a “rigorous program” of checking and double checking “because this is precious money.”

He said the initiative is about tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the women in these countries.

“You have people who are simply looking for a chance,” he said.

Ivanka Trump has made economic empowerment of women a focus of her White House tenure and has highlighted the issue during trips abroad, including to Africa this year to promote the initiative.

Trump’s 2020 budget proposal asks Congress for an additional $100 million for the initiative, though he has suggested cuts to other foreign aid.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(11) comments

DickD

How much of this money will Ivanka Trump get for expenses, pay or other forms of reimbursement. The Trump family is a bunch of vultures, just waiting to swoop down on taxpayers.

KR999

I really feel sorry for you Dick. Here’s a program to help countless women in developing countries and all you can do is whine about Ivanka getting reimbursements. What makes you think she’s even going to request them in the first place? Trump has been donating his presidential salary to various causes all along (why aren’t you whining about that?) what makes you so sure Ivanka isn’t going to donate her time and expenses for this? Yeah, I feel very, very sorry you’ve let your hate consume you so much. It’s really pitiful.....

rbtdt5

KR, Based on his comment it sounds like he is scared of strong women. This should not surprise you.

KR999

I believe you’re right rb and, yeah, it doesn’t surprise me in the least. [thumbup]

Samanthapowers

dude - why are you spouting off - hillary scared the pants of you and kfc.

DickD

I voted for Hill3, she beat Trump in the popular vote. It was you two and others like you yelling lock her up.

public-redux

KR, How could Ivanka get reimbursed for anything? She is a govt employee and this is a govt program. I think it is kinda weird that Ivanka is somehow getting credit for US taxpayers forking over tens of millions of dollars in foreign aid. It isn’t clear to that she contributed a single penny of her own.

KR999

Public, take it up with Dick, he's the one who started this with 9:56 comment.

DickD

So, you think that the Trump family should be allowed to steal taxes under the pretense they are helping others. How many times has Trump been sued for similar rip offs? And someone objects to the theif in the White house, you accuse them of hste, just like your lying heron. Trump.

KR999

In the first place, Dick, who is "allowing the Trump family to steal taxes" under any pretense? In the second place, you tell me, how many times has he been sued for "similar rip offs?" And in the third place, it's well known you're one of the biggest Trump haters here, you've proved it time and time again with the comments you write, lies and all.

Samanthapowers

D - they are looking for any free ride they can sink their claws into. that is the behavior one should expect from persons of low moral character.

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