June 27th, 2006 04:44 EST
Ambassador Tobias Addresses U.S. - Arab Economic Forum
WASHINGTON D.C. - Today, the Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and Administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Ambassador Randall L. Tobias addressed the U.S. - Arab Economic Forum in Houston, Texas. Tobias discussed the importance of partnerships - not only between the U.S. and the Middle East, but between the public and private sectors.
"The U.S. government is committed not only to supporting partnership, but to creating the opportunities that lead to it," Ambassador Tobias said. "Since its inception, the Global Development Alliance has provided over $1.4 billion to fund approximately 400 public-private alliances worldwide, leveraged over $4.6 billion in committed partner contributions and engaged over 1000 alliance partners."
Through the Global Development Alliance at USAID, agreements are coordinated between companies, non-profits, and government agencies to bring significant new resources, ideas, technologies and partners to bear on problems in countries where USAID works.
Ambassador Tobias highlighted the direct benefits of partnerships in Arab nations: "The results of the partnership are nothing short of remarkable -- 900 Jordanians currently teach over 40,000 university students; 4,000 students mentored each year in Egypt and Lebanon; over 1,000 students mentored in Bahrain since late 2004; 160,000 youth to be reached by 2008 and 1 million by 2015."
Ambassador Tobias serves concurrently as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance with a rank equivalent to Deputy Secretary at the State Department and Administrator of USAID. He recently returned from his first trip overseas in that role to three Muslim nations - Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
The U.S.-Arab Economic Forum brings together corporate leaders and policy makers to create shared opportunities and strengthen U.S.-Arab relations. With a focus on business and economics, their objective is to initiate reciprocal partnerships to promote economic growth and integration, free trade, entrepreneurship, public/private partnerships and a modern, innovative and competitive Middle-Eastern society. The forum is organized and planned by the American Middle-East Economic Affairs Committee (AMEAC), an independent, not-for-profit organization that promotes improved U.S.-Arab relations.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has provided economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years. For more information about USAID, visit our Web site at www.usaid.gov.