Small Medium Transportation Program
A "citizen to citizen" program that connects communities in the United States to communities in the former Soviet Union republics
Since the early 1990’s, the United States Department of State made a pledge to support U.S. private sector and faith-based organizations that were committed to improving the quality of life of vulnerable individuals and communities in the countries of the Former Soviet Union under the a program called the Small/Medium Transportation Program (SMTP).
Funded by the United States Department of State Office of the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE) under its Operation Provide Hopeprogram, SMTP supports small to medium sized non-profit organizations with transportation assistance to ship urgently needed humanitarian aid in 40-foot ocean-containers to their partner organizations overseas. This program seeks to improve the quality of life of vulnerable individuals and communities in the region.
The program to date has provided transportation and logistical support mobilizing a vast network of private organizations for “citizen-to-citizen” relief. To date over 2,300 containers of critical humanitarian aid - consisting of food, clothing, footwear, bedding, school, hygiene, household, medical supplies, medical equipment, and shelter items—valued at over $240 million dollars has been delivered to the orphaned, war torn communities, victims of natural disasters, disabled, elderly and poor throughout the countries.
During the past two decades, the SMTP network has perfected the art of leveraging resources on a massive scale, providing essential support that saves lives and transforms communities in many countries around the world.
The United States Department of State Office of the Coordinator for U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia (EUR/ACE) has been instrumental in investing in the SMTP network for over 20 years to bring the partner network to today’s size and scope. The U.S. Department of State views the SMTP network as a success and a model for public-private sector partnership in humanitarian assistance. However, due to new U.S. Foreign Policy objectives, the State Department will discontinue funding of the SMTP program in September 2014.
Currently, SMTP supports more than 50 U.S.-based non-profit organizations in their humanitarian activities in Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova, Tajikistan and Ukraine. Since its inception in 1998, SMTP has delivered to a total of 12 countries.
Although the SMTP program may be ending under the current funding, the network of partners continues to maintain its work and is dedicated to continuing the essential flow of humanitarian assistance. A steering committee comprised of network members are working to seek corporate sponsorship to build on the successes of the SMTP program and continue the humanitarian assistance programming globally. The transition to the People to People Global Humanitarian Network will continue the efforts already established the SMTP.
Over 2,300 sea containers of critically needed humanitarian commodities—consisting of food, clothing, footwear, bedding, school/hygiene/household/medical supplies, medical equipment, and shelter items—valued at over $240 million dollars have been delivered to the orphaned, ill, disabled, elderly and poor throughout the countries of the former Soviet Union through Counterpart's Small / Medium Transportation Program (SMTP).