The United States strongly condemns the use of force by Malawian authorities on July 20 to prevent peaceful demonstrations, as well as the ban imposed on all private radio stations reporting on the demonstrations. We also are disturbed by reports of violence targeting individuals based on their political or social affiliations. The government’s attempt to prohibit its citizens from marching, and the Communications Regulatory Authority’s ban on independent media coverage undermine democracy and the rule of law that Malawians cherish.
We recall President Mutharika’s remarks at the April 7 Millennium Challenge Corporation signing ceremony in Lilongwe that he will continue to adhere to and uphold democracy and good governance, freedom of expression, freedom of association. In light of continued rioting and rumors of retaliation, we urge restraint from both sides. We call on the people and the Government of Malawi to remain committed to the principles of democracy and to express disagreements through peaceful means.
The United States and Jordan have a long standing partnership and Jordan has been a regional leader on political and economic reform. Recognizing Jordan’s important role in the Middle East, the U.S. Government supports Jordan in a variety of ways to address its development challenges, meet its reform targets, and strengthen the ability of its security forces to play a constructive leadership role in the region.
Economic Assistance Programs
U.S. economic assistance aims to keep Jordan on the path to growth and development, while supporting the Government of Jordan in advancing a political, economic, and social reform agenda. The programs include:
USAID programs in Jordan are based on $363 million in Economic Support Funds (ESF) in FY 2010 and another $100 million in supplemental assistance from FY 2010. The programs include:
$76 million to support Jordan’s education reform initiatives;
$49.5 million to address priorities in the public health sector;
$22 million to enhance the life and employability skills of youth in underprivileged areas and to help alleviate poverty;
$55.5 million to spur trade, increase investment, and create job opportunities for Jordanians;
$26 million to support political development;
$30 million for water and environment and $10 million for energy; and
$194 million in cash transfer assistance to assist the Jordanian Government decrease its international debt and advance its reform initiatives.
Civil Society Programs
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) works with Jordanian partners to empower civil society organizations (CSOs) and cultivate a robust private sector. MEPI is working through a dozen different projects with civil society groups, women’s organizations, political parties, and youth, enriching Jordanian civic life and enhancing participation in the political process. MEPI also supports Jordanian efforts to reform the judicial system to make it more independent, accountable, reliable, and transparent. While MEPI funds are used region-wide, for FY 2010, Jordan-specific awards or those with a Jordanian component total $600,000 to date.
Millennium Challenge Corporation
The Millennium Challenge Corporation signed a five-year, $275.1 million compact with Jordan in October 2010. The compact will increase the supply of water available to households and businesses and help improve the efficiency of water delivery, wastewater collection and wastewater treatment.
OPIC Investment Programs
The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is looking to provide over $400 million in financing to mobilize $1 billion of development projects in Jordan. The projects focus on infrastructure development in the transportation, energy, and tourism sectors and represent potential partnerships between American and Jordanian businesses to promote shared economic growth. OPIC’s initiatives in Jordan are a subset of its broader commitment to provide $2 billion of financing over the next 3 years to stimulate private investment in the Middle East and North Africa. Because OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis, its activity in the MENA region will generate returns for the U.S. taxpayer while also promoting job creation in the region.
Security Assistance Programs
Military assistance, totaling $300 million in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and $3.8 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) in FY 2010, supports the Jordanian Armed Forces’ (JAF) five-year plan for modernization, readiness, and enhanced interoperability between the JAF, U.S., and NATO forces to advance regional and global security. In addition, military assistance supports procurement and installation of technology to enhance Jordan’s border security.
Nonproliferation, Antiterrorism, Demining, and Related Programs (NADR) funds, totaling $24.6 million in FY 2010, develop and implement strategic trade controls and build law enforcement capacities to better safeguard borders, manage threats, and respond to crises.
International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement (INCLE) funding, totaling $1.5 million in FY 2010, supports three priorities, including: 1) anti-money laundering through the Anti-Money Laundering Unit; 2) combating gender based violence through training and technical assistance for law enforcement and justice sector personnel; and 3) improving the Government of Jordan’s capacity to enforce intellectual property rights laws.