For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 9, 2004
Fact Sheet: Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative
June 9, 2004
FACT SHEET: Broader Middle East and North Africa Initiative
"...[T]he United States has adopted a new policy, a forward
strategy of freedom in the Middle East. This strategy requires the
same persistence and energy and idealism we have shown before. And it
will yield the same results. As in Europe, as in Asia, as in every
region of the world, the advance of freedom leads to peace."
President George W. Bush
November 6, 2003 Washington, D.C.
Today, President Bush led the G-8 in establishing a historic
"Partnership for Progress and a Common Future" with the Broader Middle
East and North Africa to support efforts to advance freedom, democracy,
and prosperity in the region. The G-8 Leaders met with Leaders of
Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen, and the
new President of Iraq to discuss the challenges facing the region.
Calls for Reform: In November 2003, President Bush announced a
"forward strategy of freedom" to advance freedom and democracy in the
greater Middle East. Since then, the world has witnessed a gathering
momentum for reform in the region: business and civil society leaders
issued reform declarations at Aqaba, Sanaa, and Alexandria, where they
declared that "reform is necessary and urgently needed." At the May
22-23 Arab League Summit, Arab leaders declared their determination to
"firmly establish the basis for democracy."
"Partnership for Progress and a Common Future": President Bush led
the G-8 Leaders today in launching the historic "Partnership for
Progress and a Common Future" to support political, economic, and
social reform in the Broader Middle East and North Africa. To that
end, the G-8 agreed to:
* Establish a "Forum for the Future," which will bring
together in one forum G-8 and regional foreign, economic, and other
ministers for regular discussions on reform, with business and civil
society leaders participating in parallel dialogues. The inaugural
meeting of the Forum will be held in the fall of 2004.
* Adopt a "Plan of Support" that will offer assistance
through new initiatives:
* Democracy Assistance Dialogue, which will bring together
democracy foundations, civil society groups, and governments from the
G-8, the region, and other countries, to promote and strengthen
democratic institutions, coordinate and share information on democracy
programs, initiate new democracy programs, and sponsor exchanges.
Turkey, Yemen, and Italy will co-sponsor the Democracy Assistance
Dialogue and co-host the first meeting in 2004.
* Microfinance Initiative to help over two million
entrepreneurs escape poverty through microfinance loans over the next 5
years. Jordan will host a Microfinance Best Practices Training Center
and Yemen will host the first microfinance pilot project.
* Literacy Initiative to assist the region's efforts to halve
the illiteracy rate over the next decade, including by training a corps
of 100,000 teachers by 2009. Afghanistan and Algeria will co-sponsor
* Business and Entrepreneurship Training initiative to help
as many as 250,000 young entrepreneurs, especially women, expand their
employment opportunities. Bahrain and Morocco will co-sponsor this
* Private Enterprise Development Facility at the
International Finance Corporation (IFC) to invest $100 million to
finance small and medium-sized enterprises;
* Network of Funds to coordinate the work of development
institutions and international financial institutions working in the
* Task Force on Investment to assist the region's efforts to
improve the business climate.
The Plan of Support also commits the G-8 to work in partnership
with the region's governments, business leaders, and civil society to
"intensify and expand" existing programs, focusing on: promoting
democracy; improving education; and creating jobs and economic growth.
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