The Middle East Partnership Initiative: U.S. Support for Freedom and Democracy in the Middle East Bureau of Public Affairs
July 18, 2005
Here in the Middle East, that same long hopeful process of democratic change is now beginning to unfold. Millions of people are demanding freedom for themselves and democracy for their countries.
Since its launch in 2002, the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has received $293 million to fund initiatives that support freedom in the Middle East. MEPI concentrates its efforts in the areas of democracy promotion, economic reform, quality education, and women's empowerment in the region.
--Secretary of State Rice, June 20, 2005
MEPI PROGRAM EXAMPLES
Democracy and Civil Society
In Egypt, Jordan, and Morocco, trained 1,000 bank staff on providing capital to small and medium size enterprises. As a result, one Egyptian Bank plans to make 12,000 loans in the next year.
In Morocco and Bahrain, helped prepare the country for Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
In Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., assisting to reach compliance with international obligations in agriculture, labor, intellectual property rights, customs, etc.
In Oman, helping its only law school establish a commercial law curriculum.
Beginning in Bahrain, Jordan, and Lebanon, providing over 5 million children's books translated into Arabic.
Throughout the region, providing English-language scholarships with the goal of reaching more than 13,000 disadvantaged youth.
In Jordan, developing new interactive technology solutions to large-scale education problems.
Providing leadership and problem-solving training to more than 120 youth.
Working with G8 and regional partners, established the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) initiative as a multilateral framework for democratic reform in the region. The BMENA centerpiece, the Forum for the Future, is an unprecedented international venue to support the reform voices in the region. Business and Civil Society Dialogues parallel the Forum; MEPI will help with a Civil Society rule of law conference in 2005.
Among the BMENA initiatives supported by MEPI are two entrepreneurship training centers, civil society programs under the Democracy Assistance Dialogue, support for entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises, and a region-wide education portal.
MEPI CONTACT INFORMATION
225 programs in 14 countries and the Palestinian Territories.
Supporting over 70 civil society organizations from the Middle East.
Of the total received, 22% increase in proposals from indigenous organizations.
Over 75% of MEPI funding supports civil society and non-governmental organizations. The remaining MEPI funding supports country reform technical assistance.
MEPI Headquarters: http://www.mepi.state.gov
MEPI Regional Office Tunisia: MEPI_ROTunis@state.gov
MEPI Regional Office U.A.E.: AbuDhabiMEPI@state.gov