US Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP)

U.S. Embassy Libya and the Cultural Heritage Center of the Department of State’s Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs are pleased to announce the call for proposals for the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) 2019 Competition.

The AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques of the cultural heritage of Libya.

The AFCP program was established by the United States Congress in 2001. It was developed to support countries in preserving their cultural heritage and to demonstrate U.S. respect for other cultures. To date, the Ambassadors Fund has supported more than 550 projects worldwide, totaling more than $20 million. The AFCP supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world.

All Libyan non-governmental organizations, museums or similar institutions and organizations that are able to demonstrate that they have the requisite experience and capacity to manage projects to preserve cultural heritage are encouraged to submit proposals for the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation and should review carefully the following key points before submitting.

Funding Priorities:

The AFCP Program gives priority to project activities in adherence to the following guidelines and to international standards for the preservation of cultural heritage in the following three areas, these activities may include:

  • Cultural Sites: Conservation of an ancient or historic building, preservation of an archaeological site, or documentation of cultural sites in a region for preservation purposes.


  • Cultural Objects and Collections: Collections and objects from a museum, site, or similar institution—that include, but are not limited to, archaeological and ethnographic objects, paintings, sculpture, manuscripts, and general museum conservation needs; conservation treatment for an object or collection of objects; needs for assessment of a collection with respect to its condition and strategies for improving its state of conservation; inventory of a collection for conservation and protection purposes; the creation of safe environments for storage or display of collections; or specialized training in the care and preservation of collections.
  • Forms of Traditional Cultural Expression: Includes traditional music, and crafts; documentation and audiovisual recording of traditional music and dance forms for broad dissemination as the means of teaching and further preserving them, or support for training in the preservation of traditional applied arts or crafts in danger of extinction.

Proposals for projects that meet one or more of the following criteria will receive additional consideration:

  • Directly support U.S. treaty or bilateral agreement obligations, such as cultural property protection agreements;
  • Support the preservation of inscribed UNESCO World Heritage sites;
  • Support disaster risk reduction for cultural heritage and post-disaster cultural heritage recovery in seismically active and other disaster-prone areas; and
  • Engage women, youth, or under-served communities. 

Funding Restrictions:

The AFCP Program will NOT support the following activities or costs, and applications involving any of the activities or costs below will be deemed ineligible:

  1. Preservation or purchase of privately or commercially owned cultural objects, collections, or real property, including those whose transfer from private or commercial to public ownership is envisioned, planned, or in process but not complete at the time of application;
  2. Preservation of natural heritage (physical, biological, and geological formations, paleontological collections, habitats of threatened species of animals and plants, fossils, etc.);
  3. Preservation of hominid or human remains;
  4. Preservation of news media (newspapers, newsreels, radio and TV programs, etc.);
  5. Preservation of published materials available elsewhere (books, periodicals, etc.);
  6. Development of curricula or educational materials for classroom use;
  7. Archaeological excavations or exploratory surveys for research purposes;
  8. Historical research, except in cases where the research is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  9. Acquisition or creation of new exhibits, objects, or collections for new or existing museums;
  10. Construction of new buildings, building additions, or permanent coverings (over archaeological sites, for example);
  11. Commissions of new works of art or architecture for commemorative or economic development purposes;
  12. Creation of new or the modern adaptation of existing traditional dances, songs, chants, musical compositions, plays, or other performances;
  13. Creation of replicas or conjectural reconstructions of cultural objects or sites that no longer exist;
  14. Relocation of cultural sites from one physical location to another;
  15. Removal of cultural objects or elements of cultural sites from the country for any reason;
  16. Digitization of cultural objects or collections, unless part of a larger, clearly defined conservation or documentation effort;
  17. Conservation plans or other studies, unless they are one component of a larger project to implement the results of those studies;
  18. Cash reserves, endowments, or revolving funds (funds must be expended within the award period [up to five years] and may not be used to create an endowment or revolving fund);
  19. Costs of fund-raising campaigns;
  20. Contingency, unforeseen, or miscellaneous costs or fees;
  21. Costs of work performed prior to announcement of the award unless allowable per 2 CFR 200.458 and approved by the grants officer;
  22. International travel, except in cases where travel is justifiable and integral to the success of the proposed project;
  23. Travel or study outside the host country for professional development;
  24. Individual projects costing less than $10,000;
  25. Independent U.S. projects overseas.

Ineligible Project Applicants:

The AFCP Program does NOT award grants to individuals, commercial entities, or to embassies or past award recipients which have not fulfilled the objectives or reporting requirements of previous AFCP awards.

Award Information:

The funding will take the form of a grant. The lowest amount per project will be $10,000; the highest ceiling will be $200,000 per project. Most awards range from US $21,400 to US $140,000.

The AFCP Program encourages cost sharing, in-kind contributions, and other forms of cost participation from sources such as governments, international organizations, and the private sector. There is no minimum or maximum percentage of cost participation required for this competition. When cost sharing is offered, it is understood and agreed that the applicant must provide the amount of cost sharing as stipulated in its proposal and later included in an approved agreement.

Application Screening Criteria:

The U.S. Embassy will first screen all proposals for technical eligibility based on the criteria’s mentioned above.

The Embassy will then rate all applications based on program funding priorities: the quality, soundness, and comprehensiveness of the proposed project and budget, the quality and quantity of supporting materials, such as resumes of the key project participants, images of the resource, and notices of official permission from the responsible resource steward, such as a ministry of culture.

The proposals are subsequently presented and evaluated by a jury-panel based in Washington. Awards are announced in the Summer of 2019. 

Proposal Requirements and Details:

Project proposals must be submitted in English using the application and budget information provided by U.S. Embassy Libya.  The forms and additional information are available at links at the top of the page. 

For questions, please contact:

The Public Affairs Section

Embassy of the United States of America to Libya

Email:  [email protected]

(Source: US Embassy)

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