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USTDA GRANT SUPPORTS NEXT GENERATION EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN ROMANIA

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (January 22, 2008) – Reflecting the success of USTDA’s regional conference last fall on strengthening and promoting coordination among integrated emergency management and response systems in Central and Eastern Europe, USTDA awarded a $700,000 grant yesterday to Romania’s Special Telecommunications Service (STS). The grant will be used to help STS, a government agency responsible for providing communications network services throughout the Romanian public sector, to extend the functionality, capacity, geographical reach, and security of its network.

The USTDA grant was conferred in a signing ceremony at STS’ headquarters in Bucharest. USTDA Regional Director for Europe and Eurasia Daniel D. Stein and Romanian State Secretary Marcel Opris signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Romanian governments, respectively.

To strengthen the ability of emergency response agencies to operate in the event of a natural disaster or other crisis, the Romanian government intends to undertake a comprehensive information and communication technology upgrade at STS. The proposed project, known as Next Generation Network, includes an extension of the network into each of Romania’s counties and the establishment of national data and recovery center. The USTDA grant will develop a blue print for the Next Generation Emergency Management Network and ensure that key performance and capacity benchmarks are met.

USTDA Acting Director Leocadia I. Zak announced the agency’s intention to award the grant at its emergency management and response conference in Budapest, Hungary last October. The event attracted participation by over 200 participants, including Ministers and other senior government officials from 19 countries and representatives of U.S. government agencies, technology providers and international organization. The conference agenda incorporated discussions on the emergency management and response needs in the region.

In addition to last fall’s conference, USTDA has funded other related activities in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2007, USTDA’s support included a $495,760 grant to enhance emergency management capabilities in Croatia by furthering the development of an integrated meteorological and hydrological monitoring system.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded study for STS will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the Federal Business Opportunities announcement. STS will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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