Ivanka Trump, center, daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. Seated with Trump are State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, left, and U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House initiative spearheaded by Ivanka Trump to help women in developing countries get ahead economically announced its first batch of grants on Wednesday: $27 million for 14 projects in 22 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative was launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

A little more than half of that amount, $27 million, went to an "incentive" fund for partnerships with private businesses and other groups. The 14 projects sharing the $27 million were chosen from over 120 entries, administration officials said Wednesday.

The projects are meant to help women with employment and entrepreneurship and to provide women in business with access to financing and other assistance.

They include an effort in Rwanda to help 1,400 women get into the central African country's fast-growing energy sector; a Latin American initiative that aims to equip 8,700 women with the skills needed to work tech-sector jobs in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru; and support for 5,000 women working in Indonesia's poultry industry.

USAID Administrator Mark Green and Ivanka Trump discussed the partnerships and the goal of helping women get ahead economically at an event Wednesday with representatives from three of the 14 programs.

Ivanka Trump, the elder daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior White House adviser, said she welcomed the "enthusiastic" response to the program, whose goal is to help empower 50 million women in developing countries by 2025.

She said the initiative is just beginning. But, she said, "we have no doubt it is going to enable us to really achieve extraordinary things" while spending U.S. taxpayer money "responsibly."

Green told the audience of White House and administration officials, members of Congress, business leaders and representatives of nonprofit groups that every proposal was subjected to a "rigorous program" of checking and double checking "because this is precious money."

He said the initiative is about tapping into the entrepreneurial spirit that exists in the women in these countries.

"You have people who are simply looking for a chance," he said.

Ivanka Trump has made economic empowerment of women a focus of her White House tenure and has highlighted the issue during trips abroad, including to Africa this year to promote the initiative.

Trump's 2020 budget proposal asks Congress for an additional $100 million for the initiative, though he has suggested cuts to other foreign aid.

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Ivanka Trump, left, daughter of President Donald Trump, poses for a selfie with Neelam Chhiber, center, co-founder of the Industree Foundation, and U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green after participating in a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
FILE - In this April 17, 2019, file photo, White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump reacts as she is wrapped in fabric that was a gift from the women of Cayat, a cocoa and coffee cooperative, in Adzope, Ivory Coast. Ivanka Trump is applauding the recent passage of legislation in Ivory Coast related to changes she pushed during her April trip to Africa. The country is on the process of updating its family code to make it more equitable to women. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Ivanka Trump, center, daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. Seated with Trump are State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus, left, and U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green, right, speaks at a roundtable discussion alongside Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Ivanka Trump, right, daughter of President Donald Trump, waits to speak at a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. Seated with Trump are U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green, second from right, and State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Ivanka Trump, left, daughter of President Donald Trump, speaks during a roundtable discussion to announce the first batch of grants that are part of a White House initiative to help women in developing countries advance economically, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in Washington. Seated with Trump are U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Mark Green, center, and Neelam Chhiber, co-founder of the Industree Foundation. The Women's Global Development and Prosperity Initiative launched in February with an initial investment of $50 million from USAID. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)