US Funded Technical Cooperation Projects

The ILO conducts technical cooperation programs in countries of all continents and at all stages of economic development. In the last decade, an average of some US$130 million was spent annually on technical cooperation projects. The projects are implemented through close cooperation between recipient countries, donors, and the ILO, which maintains a network of area and regional offices worldwide.

The United States is the largest development partner of the ILO and contributes to the ILO’s regular budget and technical cooperation program. The U.S. government works closely with the ILO primarily through the Department of Labor (USDOL), the Department of State (USDOS) and the United States Agency for International Development. (USAID).

The Government of the United States finances the ILO through the Regular Budget (RB) and Extra-budgetary Technical Cooperation (XBTC): 
  1. The ILO Regular Budget (RB) is composed of assessed contributions by member States. The United States provided a total assessed contribution of more than $700 million between 2006 and 2014.
  2. Extra-budgetary Technical Cooperation (XBTC) contributions support specific global and national projects and programs with a clear timeline and a pre-defined geographic and thematic focus. The overall funding from the United States to ILO technical cooperation between 2006 and 2013 amounted to $330.1 million. In 2013 the United States awarded the ILO an amount of $34,142,216.


Selected US Funded Technical Cooperation Projects 

Asia: Safety and health project in Vietnam and the Philippines (2015-)

The project has the aim to increase the capacity of governments, employers and workers to improve occupational safety and health, strengthen international and regional organizations partnerships to share best practices, raise awareness and contribute to improved legislation and enforcement in Vietnam and the Philippines. The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) in April 2015 awarded a $10.5 million cooperative agreement to the ILO for a technical cooperation. This project is part of ILO's new Global Initiative on Occupational Safety and Health.

Arab States: Moving Towards a Child Labor Free Jordan - Phase II

Funded by the US Department of Labor since 2011, this program is the first of its kind to be undertaken by the International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC), with its focus on supporting the government and national partners in the practical implementation of policy frameworks relevant to child labor.

In 2011, Jordan adopted the National Framework to Combat Child Labor (NFCL), a comprehensive policy on child labor which aims to tackle the issue throughout the country through systematic monitoring of child labor and collective action by key stakeholders—particularly in the ministries of labor, education and social development. Accordingly, the first phase of this project saw the NFCL pilot tested in six governorates between and has now entered its extended phase that runs until 2016. During this time, the project aims to roll out of the NFCL in five additional governorates, conduct a national survey on child labor, raise awareness as well as strengthen coordination and monitoring mechanisms, specifically with regard to Syrian refugee child laborers.

Africa: Child Labor in Cocoa Fields/ Harkin-Engel Protocol

The $10 million committed over four years by the U.S. Department of Labor established the regional project, Towards Child Labor Free Cocoa Growing Communities in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana through an Integrated Area Based Approach. Also known as the Cocoa Communities Project, this effort will withdraw and prevent children from hazardous and exploitative labor in cocoa production. The United States Department of Labor, the Labor Ministers of Ghana and the Ivory Coast and the President of the National Confectioners Association signed a Declaration of Joint Action to Support Implementation of the Harkin-Engel Protocol, formalizing a new Framework of Action that aims to reduce the worst forms of child labor by 70 percent across the cocoa sectors of Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire by 2020. The Declaration was witnessed by U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, Congressman Elliot Engel and ILO-Washington Director Nancy Donaldson. This public-private partnership also includes a $7 million commitment from the international chocolate and cocoa industry, with an additional $3 million in potential increases to existing projects meeting the goals of the Harkin-Engel Protocol.