Download the full 2019 Impact Report
Since 1915, NEF has worked to build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities through education, community organizing, and economic development initiatives.
A Message from our President
Each year, I look forward to the opportunity to reflect on the past year and take stock of the progress the Near East Foundation has made with the support of our partners and donors. While challenges undoubtedly persist as conflict, displacement, inequity, and climate shocks continue to shape the communities where we work, so too do perseverance, progress, and community-led action. Even when turmoil and civil strife strike, as it did in the past year, NEF’s commitment to community ownership and local capacity makes it possible to quickly adapt and respond. I am proud to report that NEF’s impact in 2019 once again affirmed that tailored, locally supported action translates into meaningful change for vulnerable communities and results in tangible solutions to persistent development challenges.
This past year in Mali and Senegal, NEF worked with local authorities to strengthen climate finance systems and to fund community-prioritized investments that improve the resilience of natural resource-dependent communities. In Jordan and Lebanon, we continued to help people earn an income safely through our community-based livelihood support hubs (Siraj Centers). We have now broadened these services to offer access to finance and advanced business development training to support business growth and sustainability. We expanded our network of Siraj Centers to Syria and Iraq to accelerate community-led economic and agricultural recovery, helping people who were displaced from their homes by conflict to find ways to sustainably rebuild. And in Palestine, NEF facilitated collaboration between a private Israeli irrigation company, local financial institutions, and Palestinian farming cooperatives to improve irrigation technology, crop yields, and incomes for farmers.
Our greatest assets continue to be our local staff and partners, whose deep understanding of their communities allows NEF to deliver responsive and effective programs that combat the root causes of poverty and support upward mobility for those who need it most. While the frequency and scale of humanitarian crises are daunting, I remain confident in the potential to achieve lasting impact. I am uplifted by the resolve, determination, and ingenuity of our team, partners, and the individuals we serve. I hope you too find promise in these pages for what our collective action can achieve.
I am deeply grateful for your support. It makes all of the impact reflected in this report possible. Thank you for your continued commitment to building a more equitable and prosperous world.
With sincere gratitude,
Where We Work
directly benefited across nine countries
established to support post-conflict economic recovery
launched to strengthen NEF business support services
2 new offices
opened in Washington DC and Brussels, Belgium
from Charity Navigator for the fifth consecutive year
Commitment to climate resilience
made at the 2019 UN Secretary-General meeting
Inclusive Economic Development
In partnership with local community associations, we promote economic independence and social resilience through entrepreneurship, access to finance, and peer networks. Understanding that transformative, systemic change requires investments at the individual, community, and institutional levels, we focus on building the capacity of individual entrepreneurs and their communities. Our programs prioritize underserved and hard-to-reach entrepreneurs and build the local capacity of institutions to be more inclusive of these populations.
people with increased income through business expansion
people trained in financial literacy and business management
youth gained life skills and positive coping strategies
SPOTLIGHT: SIRAJ CENTERS
In Arabic, siraj means “lamp” or “light”. NEF’s Siraj Centers are community-based livelihood support hubs that help vulnerable people safely find employment, start businesses, and improve their incomes. Through tailored training, access to resources, peer networking, and market access facilitation, Siraj Centers help people gain transferable skills, create sustainable livelihoods, improve economic resilience, and provide a sense of community to cope with the challenges they face. Siraj Centers provide a beacon of hope, lighting the way forward.
Siraj Centers are community-run. They share standardized training curricula, educational materials, operating procedures, and quality standards. NEF’s micro-franchise model for these hubs helps ensure high-quality programming to support economic recovery that is tailored to each community’s needs. The NEF Siraj Center network currently includes 15 centers in underserved communities in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Iraq.
8,200 vulnerable entrepreneurs have received support services from Siraj Center staff in Lebanon and Jordan since 2015.
Climate Resilient Development
Working hand-in-hand with local communities, we help smallholder farmers and other natural resource-dependent groups protect their livelihoods, maintain their food security, and adapt their incomes in the face of climate shocks and stresses. We work to build local capacities that ensure communities have tools and resources to invest in climate-resilient strategies, to sustainably and peacefully manage shared agricultural and natural resources, and to adapt and diversify resource-dependent livelihoods.
individuals with improved food security
infrastructure repairs and upgrades
community-led climate investments
partner organizations with built capacity
SPOTLIGHT: DECENTRALIZED CLIMATE FUNDS
International sources of funding to combat climate change are increasingly available, but how does this money reach those on the frontlines of the climate crisis? Often, funds are channeled to multilateral actors, centralized national authorities or to non-governmental organizations rather than the local governments that hold primary authority over natural resource management and adaptation. Decentralized climate funds, however, use existing governance systems to make funds available to local communities, activating local planning committees to identify and prioritize investments in consultation with community stakeholders.
Through the DFID-funded BRACED program, NEF and its partners worked with communities and governments to pilot decentralized climate funds in Mali and Senegal. Working within existing governance frameworks, the project built local capacities to manage climate adaptation funds and to invest in locally prioritized resilience projects in a transparent and accountable manner.
In 2019, we joined the Global Resilience Partnership, a consortium of public and private organizations working towards a resilient, sustainable, and prosperous future for vulnerable people and places.
Peacebuilding and Stability
We are building and enhancing economic relationships across lines of division to help promote stability through improved trust and cooperation. We promote sustainable economic development in conflict and post-conflict areas alongside conflict prevention and management training to mitigate the drivers of fragility. We further support the integration of disenfranchised populations, including young people in peri-urban slums, people internally displaced by conflict, and refugees.
individuals participated in cross-border training and activities
cross-border infrastructure repairs and upgrades made
businesses launched or expanded in the West Bank
SPOTLIGHT: CROSS-BORDER ECONOMIC COOPERATION
Cross-border economic cooperation offers a structured, depoliticized process for building trust, understanding, and capacity for collective action in pursuit of shared interests. Working with groups in conflict to foster an environment conducive to exchange, cooperation, and mutually beneficial partnerships lays the groundwork for improved collaboration, conflict management, and economic prosperity for individuals and communities. This takes different forms depending on the root causes and consequences of conflict.
The olive sector in Israel and Palestine, for instance, offers a unique opportunity to cultivate peace given its deeply rooted cultural significance and economic potential. This was the driving force behind NEF’s groundbreaking USAID-funded Olive Oil Without Borders program from 2011 to 2019, which facilitated productive partnerships between Israelis and Palestinians in the olive sector and led to the first-ever joint policy commission — allowing for the export of 4,500 metric tons of Palestinian olive oil to Israel and generating $30 million USD in new income.
Syrian food processors are using improved techniques to dramatically increase their incomes, with NEF’s support.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
Through cross-sector partnerships, we build the capacity of local organizations to improve access to clean sources of water, adequate sanitation, and good hygiene for highly vulnerable individuals. Our approach combines water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programming with civic engagement and private sector development to minimize the risk of disease and enable conflict-affected populations to improve their well-being in a safe and dignified way.
people with improved access to potable water
water infrastructure repairs and upgrades
hygiene and sanitation kits distributed
partner organizations with built capacity
SPOTLIGHT: MARKET-BASED WASH
Market-based WASH introduces a livelihoods approach to water, sanitation and hygiene through skills building and income generation. For NEF, mainstreaming this emerging development approach includes developing and promoting collaborative or individual WASH entrepreneurship activities; coordinating and investing in market-based WASH interventions through private-public partnerships; and developing the capacity of local civil society organizations to lead, catalyze, and sustain local WASH programs. In 2019, we piloted market-based WASH programming in conflict-affected
communities in Sudan and Lebanon and published a learning paper detailing the challenges and results.
More than 254,000 people have benefitted from NEF’s WASH work in Sudan.
A Trusted Steward of your Philanthropy for over 100 Years
NEF delivers high-impact programs while keeping overhead costs low, making the most of your donation. This year, 95% of donations went directly to our programs.
For the fifth consecutive year, NEF earned the highest possible rating from America’s largest independent charity evaluator. Only 13% of charities achieve this top rating.
NEF is consistently recognized as a vetted member of the Global Giving community for being a trusted partner and global change-maker.
Better Business Bureau
NEF is an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau, meeting the highest standards for ethics and accountability to ensure confident charitable giving.
Near East Foundation is committed to providing the highest levels of transparency and efficiency.
Statement of Financial Position as of June 30, 2019
2019 FUNDING SOURCES
|88% Government||5% Foundations||4% Individuals||3% Other|
|95% Program Services||4% Management and General||1% Fundraising|
View the full NEF Audited Financial Statement, Fiscal Year 2018-2019
NEF Board of Directors
U.S. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
U.K. BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BELGIUM BOARD OF DIRECTORS
A community of generous donors makes our work possible. We are grateful for every donation we receive and we hope that you will continue to support NEF long into the future.
Thank You to Our Donors
$50,000 and above
Linda K. Jacobs
Mrs. Nina Bogosian Quigley and Mr. Matthew Quigley
Charles J. Bird and Tracy L. Bird
Cleveland H. Dodge Foundation
Flora Family Foundation
Naseem and Randa Haffar
Jeff and Jessica Lowrey
Bryan N. Ison and JoEllen Ison
Haig Mardikian and Connie Mardikian
Shant Mardirossian and Christine Mardirossian
Robert J. Solomon and Nancy Solomon
Carol B. Aslanian
Johnson Garrett and Jennifer Garrett
Wesley Hayden and Susan Hayden
John Ashby and Christine Ashby
Pauline Barooshian and Armen Barooshian
Charles E. Benjamin and Jennifer Abdella
Peter Currie and Elizabeth Currie
Sona I. Degann
Melissa Dodge and Mark Rutherford
Herbert Floyd and Claire Floyd
Raffi Hovanessian and Vicki Hovanessian
Souren A. Israelyan
John M. Kerr and Kimberly Rae Chung
Ann Zwicker Kerr
Barbara Boyajian Lacy
Dennis Leuer and Laura Leuer
Richard and Leora Linhart
Peter Maeck and Jessie Maeck
Hratch Manoukian and Arshalous S. Manoukian
Michael and Agnese Meehan
Stephen Mekenian and Lily Mekenian
Ronald Miller and Susan Miller
Andrew Milstein and Melissa Hyman
Phillip Newmark and Sonia Newmark
Holly Pittman and Gary Hatfield
Samuel S. Rea
Alexander R. Robarts and Miran Yoon-Robarts
Frances K. Ross
Eric Widmer and Meera Viswanathan
The Honorable Frank G. Wisner
Up to $499
Deana Arsenian and Mark Malkasian
Edward Aslanian and Eleonore Aslanian
Gennaro Avolio and Marilyn Avolio
Sara Helen Ayanian
Arthur Aznavorian and Susan Aznavorian
Susan P. Bachelder
Anny P. Bakalian
Mehrzad Boroujerdi and Maryam Khodaei
Lefty Lou , Frank, and Woody Bramble-Duffy
George Browning and Catherine Browning
Joanna and Mike Buboltz
Stefano Giannini and Ms. Simona Ceci
Jeff Congdon and Mrs. Kathy Congdon
Mary Ellen Connell
Jonathan Cosby and Ms. Kathleen Gwynn
Richard Crowley and Barbara Crowley
Andrea Crowley and Brian Crowley
Sarah B. Cutler
Heratch O. Doumanian
Keith M. Ferguson and Mrs. Margaret S. Ferguson
John B. Fox, Jr. and Julia G. Fox
Donna A. Friedman
Rita R. Gehrenbeck and Nancy M. Gehrenbeck-Miller
Alison A. Geist
Hampartsum and Mrs. Marie Ghazarossian
Sallie L. Greenfield
Charles Hinkaty and Mrs. Kathleen Hinkaty
Kerry A. Ikone
Tim Izant and Mrs. Lisa Izant
Lynne A. Kassabian
Prof. Louis Kriesberg
Carmen Garcia and Carmen E. Lanz-Garcia
Sandra S. Leitner
Stephen Malott and Leslie Malott
Gregory Mamassian and Annette Mamassian
Harry Mazadoorian and Janice Mazadoorian
Eric and Mary Miller
Keith Miller and Ashley Miller
Brian and Nuria Miller
William J. Mostler
Sarkis Nercessian and Adriana Nercessian
Alexandra M. Nichols
Arsine Oshagan and Vahe Oshagan
Dennis Papazian and Mary Papazian
Victor Peters and Pearlmarie Peters
Lillian M. Pillay
Judy and Robert Rudolph
Richard Sarajian and Nora Sarajian
Aram Serverian and Hasma Serverian
Armen Shahinian and Brenda Shahinian
Kristin Sheehan and Brendan Sheehan
Juliet Sorensen and Benjamin Jones
David Tookmanian and Ascensina Tookmanian
Kevork S. Toroyan and Pamela Toroyan
Judy M. Torrison
Mark Weatherup, Jr.
Roger Whitaker and Susan Whitaker
Doris T. White
Kenneth S. Winer
Migirdic Yigitkurt and Susan Yigitkurt