Washington: US President Barack Obama has proposed a fund of nearly USD 800 million to boost political and economic reforms in Arab countries and help them to get back on track following a series of revolutions. (Agencies)
In its budgetary proposals sent to the Congress, the Obama Administration proposed USD 770 million for the new Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund to respond strategically to the historical changes taking place across the region.
The proposals are part of Obama's budget request for fiscal year 2013, which begins October 1.
"The Fund will incentivise long-term economic, political and trade reforms — key pillars of stability — by supporting governments that demonstrate a commitment to undergo meaningful change and empower their people," it said.
"The Middle East is reinventing itself before our eyes," Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Thomas Nides told reporters.
"Since I presented last year's budget, there hasn't been a day when we weren't managing multiple crises at once. The demands on us have never been higher, and you will see all of that in this budget request," he said.
Overall, Obama proposed USD 51.6 billion in funding for the US State Department and foreign aid.
Nides said the Administration has proposed to devote 28 percent or USD 14.6 billion, preventing conflicts and supporting key allies and partners.
"Our investment in supporting our allies and partners includes everything from police training in Latin America, to efforts to promote stability in places like Haiti, in the South Sudan, to more than 70 military-to-military partnerships, which are managed by the State Department,' he said.
"It funds peacekeeping missions around the world and our presence in international institutions and it matches last year’s record high of USD 3.1 billion for the State of Israel, which continuing – and continuing our efforts to support our Arab partners," Nides said.
A portion of the Middle East Incentive Fund, officials anticipates could be used to deal with humanitarian emergencies in that region owing from the transition.
The proposal did not say how the Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund would be divided between countries, or give any other details of the plan.
Washington: US President Barack Obama has proposed a fund of nearly USD 800 million to boost political and economic reforms in Arab countries and help them to get back on track following a series of revolutions.