Feds Spending $1.1M to Boost Community Outreach in Afghanistan, Though Sports, Meals, Entertainment

By Penny Starr | April 23, 2014 | 3:40pm EDT

Members of the Afghanistan National Police. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – The Department of State has announced $1.1 million in grants to fund Afghanistan National Police community outreach programs, which can include entertainment and sporting events.

The grants, offered through the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, are intended to fund monthly Afghan National Police (ANP) Community Outreach Events in the following 15 provinces of Afghanistan: Kabul, Kandahar, Helmand,
Paktiya, Wardak, Khost, Nangarhar, Laghman, Logar, Panjshir, Kunduz, Faryab, Ghazni, Herat, and Baghlan,” the announcement states.

The outreach effort is "designed to develop trust and understanding between the Afghan National Police forces (ANP) and their communities." The solicitation notes that generations of Afghans have grown up in a society without proper security and have little experience in interacting with their local police force.

The Community Outreach Events will consist of spectator-friendly sports tournaments, "engagement meals" between ANP and members of the local community in which they serve, and mobile video screenings featuring episodes of ‘Wakonish (Reaction) 119,’ a docu-drama centered around the ANP.

“During this one-year period of performance, regular sports training for ANP officers and local youth will also be implemented,” the announcement states. “Sports will focus on cricket and football, but may also include volleyball, martial arts, and wrestling.”

The grant opportunity, which was announced on April 16 and will close on May 7, is open to “all U.S., Afghan, and international organizations or companies with direct experience in community events, working with GIRoA (Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) and a proven track record of success implementing projects in Afghanistan,” the announcement states.

Questions emailed to the grant manager from CNSNews.com were not answered by press time. CNSNews.com wanted to know if the grants will continue after U.S. troops are scheduled to leave Afghanistan; and if any of the programs being offered specifically benefit Afghan women.

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