USAID and Western Union Launch the Libya Diaspora Marketplace

        USAID and Western Union Launch the Libya Diaspora Marketplace

  PR Newswire

  WASHINGTON, D.C. and ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, April 8, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. and ENGLEWOOD, Colorado, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

United States Agency for International Development ( USAID ) and Western Union
have launched the Libya Diaspora Marketplace (LDM). The LDM will award up to
four winning businesses with matching grants of between $25,000 and $50,000
with accompanying technical assistance.

 (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120514/531122 )

The LDM encourages sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting
entrepreneurs who are U.S. citizens or permanent resident members of the
Libyan diaspora community, as well as those who have a relevant connection to,
or experience in, Libya. Grants awarded for startup or existing small and
medium enterprises will focus on high-priority, high-impact sectors that meet
the immediate and evolving development needs of the country.

"The recent events in the region have offered USAID opportunities to adjust
our approaches to assistance in the Middle East and North Africa and forge new
partnerships across the region," said Alina Romanowski, USAID's Acting
Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau. "I'm excited these new
relationships also include the LDM initiative and the diaspora who want to
make a difference in their homeland during a historical time." 

USAID began redirecting assistance and putting new programs into place to help
the people of Libya in response to a rapidly unfolding situation across the
Middle East and North Africa, laying the foundation for a democratic future
and economic prosperity that engages and benefits all Libyans.

The inclusion of Libyan diaspora in the LDM highlights this commitment to
facilitating diaspora entrepreneurs who want to contribute to the development
of their home countries. 

"The LDM is an innovative model for corporate, government and nonprofit
collaboration to promote entrepreneurship and the employment it supports.
Expanding the ADM to Libya leverages its unique benefits to help create
lasting social and economic impact," said Aida Diarra, Western Union Regional
Vice President for North Central and West Africa.

USAID will be hosting an informational webinar on Thursday, April 18, 2013.
More Information about the webinar, the LDM, how to apply and deadlines can be
found at http://www.diasporamarketplace.org . Submission of proposals will
commence on Friday, April 5, 2013.

About  Western Union

The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services.
Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business
Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and
businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money
around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of
December 31, 2012, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services
were offered through a combined network of approximately 510,000 agent
locations in 200 countries and territories. In 2012, The Western Union Company
completed 231 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $79
billion of principal between consumers, and 432 million business payments. For
more information, visit

http://www.westernunion.com .

About USAID

USAID is the lead U.S. government agency providing development and
humanitarian assistance to people around the world. The agency's Global
Development Alliance (GDA) links U.S. foreign assistance with the resources,
expertise and creativity of the private sector as well as nongovernmental
organizations. Since its launch in 2001, the Global Development Alliance has
changed the way U.S. international development projects are financed and
implemented. By cultivating more than 900 public-private alliances with over
1,700 individual partners, it has allowed USAID to leverage an additional $9.6
billion in resources for development. For more information about USAID and
its programs around the world, visit http://www.usaid.gov . For more
information on Global Development Alliances, visit
http://www.usaid.gov/gda/index.html .

Contact: For More Information Contact: Rania Chidiac, Western Union,
+971-4-3915244, Rania.Chidiac@westernunion.com; USAID Press Office,
+1-202-712-4320, USAIDPressOfficers@usaid.gov
 
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