US Plans to Invest $20M in Tunisia's Democratic Transition

The Office of the Middle East Partnership Initiative of the U.S. Department of State has unveiled new initiatives to support the democratic transition in Tunisia.

MEPI said it plans to provide $20 million to the Tunisia Transition Support, which aims to help consolidate the country’s gains after ousting former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and help its citizens work toward sustainable economic prosperity and democratic development.

According to the State Department website, the proposed $20 million assistance will boost efforts to encourage economic reforms, develop a sound framework for elections, develop and strengthen political parties, form a strong and independent civil society and establish a professional, pluralistic and independent media sector.

In addition, MEPI has teamed up with Microsoft under a newly developed IT public-private partnership to distribute computer software to and facilitate the training of Tunisian non-governmental organizations.

MEPI is also awarding grants to local Tunisian NGOs working toward democratic transition in the country. Its most recent awards include funding for Club UNESCO-Bardo Tunisie to provide training on citizenship and local governance.

Meanwhile, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday (March 22) said the global agency fully supports Tunisia’s transition into democracy.

“The United Nations is ready to provide all support to the Tunisian Government and people, particularly in the area of the electoral process and constitution drafting and helping the Tunisian Government to restore the rule of law and promote human rights, promote gender equality,” Ban said after meeting with Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi in Tunis.

Read more about U.S. development aid.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.