Middle East Partnership Initiative
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Economic Pillar
Political Pillar
Education Pillar
Women's Pillar
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Middle East Partnership Initiative

The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) is a Presidential initiative founded to support economic, political, and educational reform efforts in the Middle East and champion opportunity for all people of the region, especially women and youth. The initiative strives to link Arab, U.S., and global private sector businesses, non-governmental organizations, civil society elements, and governments together to develop innovative policies and programs that support reform in the region. As the President outlined in his Nov. 6, 2003 speech at the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. has adopted a new policy, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East.  MEPI is the administration's primary diplomatic policy and development programmatic tool to support this new U.S. policy. 

MEPI is structured in four reform areas. In the economic pillar, MEPI policy and programs support region-wide economic and employment growth driven by private sector expansion and entrepreneurship. In the political pillar, MEPI champions an expanded public space where democratic voices can be heard in the political process, the people have a choice in governance, and there is respect for the rule of law. In the education pillar, MEPI supports education systems that enable all people, including girls, to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to compete in today's economy and improve the quality of their lives. Finally, in the women's pillar, MEPI works toward economic, political, and educational systems where women enjoy full and equal opportunities.

Among the hallmark activities being conducted under the auspices of MEPI are the establishment of the Middle East Finance Corporation (economic pillar); a Regional Judicial Forum and Regional Campaign Schools (political pillar); "Partnership Schools" that offer creative, innovative alternatives for quality and relevant education for children and serve as models for governments as they build schools in the future (education pillar); and regional micro-enterprise and business internships for women (women's pillar).

To date, the administration has committed $129 million to MEPI ($29 million in FY 2002 supplemental and $100 million in FY 2003 supplemental). This MEPI funding is in addition to the bilateral economic assistance we provide annually to the Arab world.

The Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage, is the Coordinator for MEPI. The Department of State's Near Eastern Affairs Bureau, Partnership Initiative Office manages the policy and programs under MEPI and works closely with agencies across the U.S. Government.

  
Highlights

Standing Program Announcement
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) has awarded new grants totaling nearly $5 million to five organizations to support local reform efforts in the Middle East and North Africa. MEPI selected the grant recipients from the first round of the MEPI Standing Program Announcement (SPA) and the Middle East Entrepreneur Training (MEET US) program Request for Applications. These grants will support MEPI partnerships with private sector, non-governmental organizations, civil society elements, community based organizations, and governments in the Middle East and North Africa. The programs will be initiated in Jordan, Morocco, and Yemen. MEPI invites additional proposals for consideration within MEPI's on-going grant process. Learn how to apply!

Eight University Partnerships: Performance and Results
The Association Liaison Office for University Cooperation in Development promotes higher education partnerships for global development and administers the U.S.-Middle East University Partnerships Program.

Women and the Law -- A Regional Dialogue
The United States, through the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), is delighted to have sponsored the Women and the Law Workshop in Amman, Jordan, in partnership with Jordan's Ministry of Justice. This event brought together nearly 100 women in the legal profession and other prominent individuals from 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa to discuss challenges facing women in the judicial and legal profession, as well as aspects of law that directly impact women in the Arab world.

The al-Khalij Women's Campaign Initiative is the first in a series of leadership and campaign schools sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative and implemented by Partners in Participation, providing leadership and communication skills to current and future women leaders in the Arab world.

Business Internships
The U.S. Business Internship Program will provide talented young women from the Middle East unique opportunities to learn management and businesses skills while working in the dynamic and productive U.S. business environment. Also see application.

Judicial Reform
The Arab Judicial Forum 2003 offered a superb opportunity to discuss essential elements of sound judicial systems throughout the world and specifically in the Middle East. For materials and reports, please visit the Arab Judicial Forum's site.


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