What is MEPPA or the Lowey Fund?
In December 2020, over a decade of ALLMEP advocacy led to the passage into law of the Nita M. Lowey Middle East Partnership for Peace Act (MEPPA). This new fund will deliver $250 million over at least five years to projects that support peacebuilding and Palestinian economic development and partnerships. It represents the largest investment ever in the region’s peacebuilders. The legislation grew out of ALLMEP’s 12-year campaign to establish an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace, which continues to gain momentum among other governments interested in leveraging this game-changing U.S. investment.
Until now, most strategies toward peace have focused on diplomats negotiating a final solution and failed to engage with peacebuilders working on the conflict at a people-to-people level every day. The Lowey Fund recognizes that sustainable and lasting peace must be built from the ground up to create a broad base of support. The fund is being administered through two different U.S. agencies: USAID for people-to-people programs and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for economic projects.
ALLMEP will continue to advocate for this fund and its implementation over the next five years. It is important to clarify: ALLMEP has absolutely no role whatsoever in the evaluation of concept papers or applications, nor in the allocation of MEPPA funding. Additionally, ALLMEP does not offer recommendations to USAID or any US government body for any organization to receive funding. For continuous updates, check out our living MEPPA FAQ.
The second APS has officially opened. For more information, click here.
Our Partners in Support
The People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund
USAID’s program under MEPPA is called the People-to-People Partnership for Peace Fund. The Fund launched with an initial call for proposals (Annual Program Statement, or APS) with $15 million, which is the largest single investment in Israeli-Palestinian people-to-people work in history. USAID says that it aims to “foster a grassroots effort to affect policy change” while “strengthening engagement between Palestinians and Israelis.” The initial USAID call envisions an expanded definition of people-to-people peacebuilding, both within and between each society, with a goal of advancing “a just resolution to the conflict.”
ALLMEP is working closely with its members to help them prepare to scale up, including through trainings, capacity-building programs, and project development workshops. To ensure that stakeholders have key information about USAID’s program, ALLMEP is also hosting a living information hub here.
The Joint Investment for Peace Initiative
For the more explicitly economic side of MEPPA, the DFC will manage a program called the Joint Investment for Peace Initiative (JIP) focused on “small and medium-sized enterprises owned by Palestinians,” especially in technology, agriculture, and other “high value-added or emerging industries.” Unlike other economic aid, JIP has a clear goal of increasing partnerships and ties between Israelis and Palestinians, helping them build trust and develop a mutual vested interest in each other’s success.
The program will make loans, grants, and equity investments that both “invest in the development of the Palestinian economy and in joint economic ventures.” While the DFC has not yet established a dedicated online application or call for proposals, in a June 2021 launch announcement, it directed interested parties to explore its general eligibility checklist for funding. DFC loans often range from three to 15 years in amounts of $1 million to $1 billion, involve other investors, and comply with DFC’s investment policies.
ALLMEP will continue to advocate for this fund and its implementation over the next five years. It is important to clarify: ALLMEP has absolutely no role whatsoever in the evaluation of concept papers or applications, nor in the allocation of MEPPA funding. Additionally, ALLMEP does not offer recommendations to USAID or any US government body for any organization to receive funding. We do work with USAID providing insights from the field on our assessment of the needs, challenges, and gaps facing practitioners. Take a look at ALLMEP’s review of MEPPA’s first year with this helpful graphic and in our 2023 Annual Report.
For continuous updates, check out our living MEPPA FAQ.
How Can Private Philanthropy Get Involved?
Press around the Lowey Fund
ALLMEP is incredibly fortunate to have had extensive coverage of the Lowey Fund in the media, and anticipates continued coverage as funds are being rolled out.
MEPPA Resources for Members
Building Toward An International Fund for
An International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace
In the years of International Fund advocacy, and since MEPPA’s passage into law, ALLMEP has seen an overwhelming amount of support from organizations, politicians, media, and other relevant stakeholders.