International Broadcasting Independent Grantee Organizations

To promote freedom and democracy and enhance understanding through multimedia communication of accurate, objective, and balanced news, information, and other programming about America and the world to audiences overseas.

Examples of Funded Projects

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks are the only projects that have received grant funding.

All three organizations conduct broadcasting operations in targeted geographic regions.

Agency - Broadcasting Board of Governors

The Broadcasting Board Governors (BBG) became the independent entity responsible for all U.S. Government and government-sponsored, non-military, international broadcasting on October 1, 1999.

The BBG has authority for the International Broadcasting Bureau and its broadcasting services – the Voice of America and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.

The Board also oversees three grantee organizations, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

Website Address

Program Accomplishments

Each of the three grantee organizations serves a unique geographic region. Their accomplishments in each region are described below:

  1. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL): As of December 2007, RFE/RL broadcasts in 28 languages to Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe; Russia; the Caucasus; Central Asia; Iraq; Iran; and Afghanistan.

    Eighteen of RFE/RL's broadcast languages almost two-thirds of the total are directed to countries or regions where the majority populations are Muslim. Each week, RFE/RL broadcasts more than 1,000 hours of radio programming and four hours of television from its operations center in Prague and from its bureaus.

    During fiscal year 2007, RFE/RL's 19 Internet websites reached a monthly average of over 1.3 million unique visitors, logged nearly 1.7 million requests to listen to radio content online, and garnered an average of 20 million page views each month reflecting increases of 13 percent, 18 percent, and 21 percent respectively over the previous year. RFE/RL's proximity to its broadcast regions facilitates production of relevant, locally-oriented programming in a cost-efficient manner. As of December 2007, RFE/RL programs were available on 261 local AM, FM, UKV, and TV affiliates across its broadcast region. RFE/RL is increasing delivery of its information products on television, the Internet, and other emerging media in order to attract new audiences and to reach closed and semi-closed societies.

  2. Radio Free Asia (RFA) broadcasts in nine languages and four dialects to China (including Tibet and the Xinjiang Region of Western China), Burma, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam, providing unbiased news to Asian countries that do not tolerate a free press, and filling the news gap created by State-controlled media.

    Through its network of reporters across Asia and its eight bureaus/offices, RFA frequently leads the world in breaking news and continues to cover stories not reported by other media.

  3. Middle East Broadcasting Network (MBN) is a multimedia broadcasting organization that currently operates three 24/7 Arabic-language news and information television channels Alhurra, Alhurra-Iraq, and Alhurra Europe - as well as Radio Sawa, which broadcasts 24/7 on seven programming streams in the Middle East.

    MBN broadcasts from its headquarters in Springfield, Virginia, with a bureau in Baghdad, production capability in Dubai and Beirut, and correspondents in more than 25 countries in the Middle East and around the world. MBN reaches an estimated 35 million people each week and provides the United States a direct and undistorted line of communication with the Arabic- speaking population of the Middle East. In addition, news updates are broadcast twice anhour to provide regular news coverage 18 hours of the day. Alhurra-Iraq carries some programs aired on the regional Alhurrachannel, but concentrates on targeted news and current affairs programs for Iraqi viewers as they move into a new era and rebuild their country. Alhurra Europe provides the most popular news and information programs of Alhurra and Alhurra-Iraq.

    Radio Sawa broadcasts reliable and objective news via newscasts at 15 and 45 minutes past each hour, totaling over 325 live, updated newscasts per week on each of its seven broadcasting streams targeted to the sub-regions of the Middle East. Daily 30-minute news magazines provide listeners with in-depth reporting and news analysis. Radio Sawa can be heard throughout the Middle East through FM and medium wave (AM) transmissionson seven streams including: Iraq (FM and AM); Jordan and the West Bank(FM); the Gulf (FM and AM); Egypt and the Levant (AM); Morocco (FM); Sudan and Yemen (FM and AM); and Lebanon and Syria(FM). Listeners can also hear Radio Sawa live on the Internet by going to its website and clicking on any of the streams.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funding supports the operations of the grantee organizations.

The annual appropriation process provides funds and restrictions on fund usage would be identified in the appropriation and authorization law.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Grants are currently only available to three existing nonprofit organizations, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and Middle East Broadcasting Networks as identified in authorizing or appropriations language.

Grants are not available to State or local governments or the general public.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Direct beneficiaries of these grants are three nonprofit entities based and incorporated in the United States. The grants allow these three United States-based entities to provide an objective and balanced alternative source of news, opinion, and information related to the U.S. and U.S. policy to overseas populations. Secondary beneficiaries of these grants are overseas listeners who benefit from an alternative news source that provides objective information.



This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Application Procedures

The grantees submit resource requirements to the BBG for inclusion in the development of the BBG budget estimates. The BBG consolidates this data into the BBG budget submission to OMB and Congress. Upon Congressional approval of the current year appropriation, the grantees submit an annual financial plan described in Reports section.

Award Procedures

At the beginning of the fiscal year, the BBG and the grantee sign an annual grant agreement which thereby grants funds for the planning and operating expenses related to international broadcasting for each grantee. BBG and the grantees also sign grant amendments prepared throughout the fiscal year.




Public Law 97-258 (31 U.S.C. Section 6300 et seq) and 22 U.S.C. Section 6204(a)(5)

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time


Not applicable.


The three organizations currently receiving grants may continue to receive funding through the annual appropriation process for each fiscal year.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funding is available to grantees in monthly payments based on an approved financial plan and subject to the receipt by BBG of a payment request.

Post Assistance Requirements


Each grantee must prepare an annual financial plan to be approved by the BBG.

Grantees are required to submit OMB Standard Forms 269 and 272 by the 20th day of each month except for the final month of the fiscal year, which shall be the 30th day of the month.

Grantees must also submit program accomplishments providing quantitative and qualitative measures of success.

Examples of such measures include, but are not limited to numbers of listeners/viewers, languages served, hours of broadcasting, etc.


The Grantees are required to undergo an annual audit. In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Nonprofit Organizations," nonfederal entities that receive financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year.


All reports described above and business documents such as bid solicitations, evidence of shipment for commodities procured in the United States and procurement and service contracts, shall be maintained for a period of 3 years from the date of the initial submission in a manner that will permit verification of the grantee's compliance with its representations, warranties, and obligations contained in this agreement. If any litigation, claim or audit is started before the expiration of the 3-year period, the records shall be retained until all open matters have been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

95-0206-0-1-154; 95-0204-0-1-154.


FY 07 $200,228,000; FY 08 est $207,552,000; and FY 09 est $232,785,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Range: FY 07 $31,537 to $93,190. Average: $66,743. Range: FY 08 $34,167 to 93,451. Average: $69,184.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature


Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Broadcasting Board of Governors, 330 Independence Ave S.W., Suite 3360, Washington DC 20237.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The BBG does not solicit or evaluate proposals from the public.

Social Entrepreneurship

Philanthropy: Fortifying American Democracy

Robert Gallucci, President, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, writes that philanthropy should at least bolster America’s democracy.

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