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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Strategic Communications and Planning > Key Policy Fact Sheets > 2005

The Middle East Partnership Initiative: Working with Reformers to Strengthen Democracy and Opportunity

Bureau of Public Affairs
Washington, DC
March 7, 2005

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collage of photos of women and men in the Middle East

"America will stand with the allies of freedom to support democratic movements in the Middle East and beyond... Our aim is to build and preserve a community of free and independent nations, with governments that answer to their citizens, and reflect their own cultures."

--President George W. Bush

Funding Reform with Local Partners
Funding in All Areas Bolsters Democratic Reform
($293 million allocated FY02-FY05)

  • Democracy/Civil Society/Media.....28%
  • Economic Reform .......................33%
  • Quality Education .......................26%
  • Women's Empowerment .............13%

The United States supports reformers and their efforts to extend freedom and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). MEPI works with civil society organizations and governments to create open and active linkages that are fundamental to democratic reform.

MEPI Programs
Democracy and Civil Society

  • Strengthen political parties as a vital part of responsive governance by training political candidates in advocacy and leadership skills.
  • Promote independent and responsible media through professional standards and accountability.
  • Pursue legislative accountability and oversight by improving skills and knowledge of local parliamentarians.
  • Bolster the rule of law through judicial programs on ethical standards and transparent, trustworthy court procedures.

Private Sector-Led Economic and Jobs Growth

  • Stimulate increased trade, local business development, and job growth through the U.S./Middle East Free Trade Area.
  • Strengthen the commercial banking systems across the region to help them expand access to capital for small and medium businesses through technical assistance from the Partnership for Financial Excellence.
  • Ensure that talented entrepreneurs can benefit from cutting edge business management knowledge and assure their advancement through business internships and training such as MEET-U.S.

Access to Quality Education

  • Help transform the classroom learning experience through its Partnership Schools Program that engages teachers, parents, and the business community in shared goals.
  • Teach language skills for today's global marketplace through a partnership with the Jordan Education Initiative that is developing an interactive online English-as-a-Foreign-Language (EFL) curriculum and accompanying teaching materials.
  • Encourage young readers to think critically and read independently with "My Arabic Library," a set of 40 translated fiction and non-fiction titles.

Women's Empowerment

  • Teach skills and strategies for female leadership in political and community life by organizing Regional Campaign Schools.
  • Strengthen networking of Arab women legal professionals through judicial conferences, working with eminent jurists such as Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, which led to several workshops on "Women and the Law."
  • Aid women and men to advocate for women's rights through public education and legislative reform.


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