The U.S. Government will support Egypt and the Egyptian people with their needs for economic recovery, free and fair elections, and overall stability. In the short-term, our assistance efforts will leverage existing funding to produce quick, concrete results and have a tangible impact in support of Egypt’s economic recovery and democratic transition. We recognize that a prosperous and democratic Egypt, buoyed by economic growth and a strong private sector, can be an anchor of stability for the Middle East and North Africa.
Long-term Partnership with the Egyptian People: Working together over the years, we are particularly gratified that we have been able to help Egyptians in practical ways. We are proud of over thirty years of U.S. assistance to Egypt, in which the United States has:
Contributed massive resources to one of the most successful and renowned health programs worldwide, resulting in a 15-year extension of the lifespan of Egyptians, a decrease in the maternal mortality rate by over 50% and the child mortality rate by over 70%, and the eradication of polio;
Provided clean drinking water and sanitation to the city of Cairo and other metropolitan areas where no such service was previously available (the sewer system we constructed in Cairo constitutes the largest construction project in the world);
Built more than 2,000 schools and stocked 39,000 school libraries, and helped Egypt double literacy levels;
Sent thousands of Egyptians to the United States for advanced university studies;
Invested $1.8 billion in power sector projects accounting for roughly one-third of total present capacity; and
Invested billions in technical and financial assistance to modernize Egypt’s economy to create new jobs in fields like high-technology and manufacturing. This has directly contributed to Egypt’s status as a top ten country in the World Bank Doing Business report four out of the last five years.
Renewed Bilateral and Multilateral Support: The United States requested $250 million in economic support funds and $1.3 billion in foreign military financing from Congress in FY 2012, in support of a revitalized partnership with Egypt and Egyptians.
The United States also provides critical support to Egypt, together with our international partners, through our leadership at international financial institutions, such as the World Bank, African Development Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, where we have repeatedly used our leadership and contributions to mobilize billions of dollars in ongoing support for Egypt.
Immediate Economic and Political Transition: In addition to ongoing U.S.-funded economic and political reform programs in Egypt, the United States has made available a total of $165 million for near-term assistance to support projects that generate jobs and economic growth and support Egyptian efforts to secure a democratic future.
To address immediate economic needs arising from recent events, the United States expects to provide technical assistance, capital, and advocacy training to support small business and entrepreneurs; sustainable job creation focused on, but not limited to, the tourism/hospitality sector and infrastructure; and education, management skills, and vocational training to help get people back to work.
The United States is providing support to Egyptian and U.S. organizations working to promote respect for human rights and political freedom, building a free and fair elections process, advance media professionalism and political party development, and increase youth and women’s participation. We will ensure that a significant portion of our assistance will directly support Egyptian civic organizations’ efforts to promote political and economic reform, expand civic awareness, and promote government transparency.
OPIC Support for Investment: OPIC will provide up to $2 billion in financial support to encourage private sector investments in the Middle East and North Africa, building partnerships between U.S. and Arab businesses to promote growth, and regional job creation. OPIC will prioritize small and medium-sized enterprises and is prepared to grant proposed projects “fast track” approval status (provided due diligence requirements are met) to mobilize capital quickly.
ExIm Letters of Credit: The U.S. Export Import Bank has approved $80 million in insurance cover to support letters of credit issued by Egyptian financial institutions, showing our support for the Egyptian economic recovery.
USTDA Business Forum: USTDA will host a June forum in Washington, D.C., bringing together a wide variety of Egyptian and U.S. public and private sector representatives to explore trade, investment and commercial opportunities. The Forum will encourage enhanced trade and sustainable economic development in Egypt, focusing on energy, information and communication technology, transportation, and agriculture.
Deputy Secretary Steinberg meets with Preside Uribe and signs Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality
Deputy Secretary James B. Steinberg met today with President Uribe at Ubérrimo Ranch. They had a very productive meeting, during which they discussed the current state of their bilateral relationship and how they envision the relationship developing in the future. Thereafter, Deputy Steinberg signed an Actional Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality with Foreign Minister Jaime Bermúdez.
Recognizing that ethnic and racial diversity has been a crucial element in the development of democratic and multicultural societies, the United States Government and Colombian Government developed the Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality. This plan seeks to eliminate forms of racial and ethnic discrimination in both societies. It focuses on sharing best practices and implementing cultural programming to address racial discrimination and related issues affecting under-represented racial and ethnic minority communities, particularly Afro-Colombians. The plan establishes a joint Steering Committee which will discuss a variety of important subjects, including: Education, Culture, Housing, Health, Employment and Labor, and Anti-discrimination legislation.
The Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality builds on the work of the 2007 Intersectorial Comission for the Advancement of the Afro-Colombian, Palenquera and Raizal People, as well as the numerous programs funded by U.S. Embassy Bogotá targeting Afro-Colombian and Indigenous populations. Most notably, since 2008, USAID has allocated $15 million for the Productive Ethnic Territories (TEP) program to create income and employment generating activities. The U.S. government also funds several exchange and scholarship programs in Colombia, including Martin Luther King Fellows, College Horizons, and the Fulbright Leadership Program.
During the rest of Steinberg’s visit, he will meet with Colombian government officials, civil society and human rights groups, and representatives of the private sector to determine how the bilateral relationship can be strengthened and to ensure that prosperity is broadly shared among both Colombian and U.S. citizens.
The Steering Committee for the Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality between the U.S. and Colombia met for the first time at the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on June 2, 2010, to discuss progress since the Plan’s signing on January 12 during U.S. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg’s visit to Colombia.
For the U.S. delegation, the Committee was chaired by Deputy Chief of Mission Brian A. Nichols and USAID’s Colombia Mission Director Dr. S. Ken Yamashita. The Colombian delegation was led by Deputy Foreign Minister Clemencia Forero and Deputy Minister of the Interior Vivian Manrique.
The Colombian Government outlined the objectives for the Action Plan. The U.S. presented a summary of the cultural, educational and exchange programs available for Afro-Colombian and Indigenous communities. It also put forward ideas for future programs that acknowledge the objectives of the Action Plan. Both Governments agreed to summon their informal work groups to coordinate an agenda during the first session of the Plenary Group – to be held sometime in September or October – to sustain active participation of civil society organizations and the private sector.
The Action Plan on Racial and Ethnic Equality seeks to promote cooperation, understanding, and exchange of information, providing equality of opportunity and eliminating racial and ethnic discrimination. Likewise, they are to work closely in areas already covered under bilateral initiatives and recommendations from the Intersectoral Commission for the Advancement of the Afro-Colombian, Palenquera and Raizal People; as well as many other U.S. Embassy Bogotá programs. The Plan will work to encourage and strengthen key projects such as education, culture, housing, health, work and employment, and an anti-discrimination legislation.
It is important to outline that since 2008, USAID has assigned 15 million dollars in resources to the Productive Ethnic Territories program (TEP) to develop activities that will generate income and jobs. The U.S. Government also finances several scholarship and exchange programs in Colombia, including the Martin Luther King (MLK) Fellows program, the College Horizons Initiative Program and the Fulbright Foundation’s Leadership program.
Bogotá, D.C., June 3, 2010
Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Luis CdeBaca announced today that the Department of State will partner with the International Business Leaders Forum (IBLF) on an initiative to provide job and life-skills training to trafficking survivors in at least 13 hotel sites in Brazil, Vietnam, and Mexico. The initiative will integrate human trafficking survivors into the Youth Career Initiative (YCI), a six-month educational program encompassing participating hotels that include Marriott, Sheraton, and the InterContinental.
The goal of the initiative is to ensure that trafficking survivors have the skills and confidence to enter the formal job market, as well as provide one-to-one mentoring support throughout the training and for up to 6 months after graduation from the program to assist in their securing employment. Thanks to a unique partnership model with the international hotel industry, students gain relevant work skills in at least 15 hospitality specialties that span operational and administrative departments. The innovative program will not only empower trafficking survivors by providing the necessary support to rebuild their lives, but also has the potential to serve as a catalyst for other public-private partnerships to protect and serve victims of trafficking.
Ambassador CdeBaca was appointed by President Obama to direct the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the Department of State, where he serves as a Senior Advisor to Secretary Clinton and leads the United States’ global fight against contemporary forms of slavery. The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (G/TIP) develops and implements the State Department’s policy for the protection of trafficking victims, prosecution of traffickers, and prevention of trafficking.
For more information, please contact:
Alberto Canovas, Programme Manager, Youth Career Initiative at firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 207 467 3643.
Shivvy Jervis, Press Liaison, International Business Leaders Forum at email@example.com or +44 207 467 3650.
G/TIP Programs Jane Sigmon at SigmonJN@state.gov or (202) 312-9887.