U.S. Assistance for Libya and Tunisia
The State Department’s Office of the Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions released two fact sheets that highlight government assistance to Libya and Tunisia, putting out statements on July 20 and today, respectively. The statements emphasize the strategic importance of stability in the two countries, and affirm U.S. commitment to helping them build democratic, prosperous societies.
Transitional aid to Libya currently totals $170 million. The bulk of aid has gone toward humanitarian and security challenges immediately after the conflict, but assistance is also being provided to strengthen government institutions and develop civil society. The U.S. provided technical assistance for the recently held first election, improving management and administration and developing legal electoral frameworks, in cooperation with the Libyan government and intergovernmental organizations. Aid is also going to civil society groups such as advocacy NGOs and bar associations, and to political party development and support for the new legislature.
Aid to Tunisia currently totals $300 million, which is heavily focused on assistance for the economy and private sector. This includes $100 million toward paying off Tunisian debt to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, which the office says will allow Tunisia to devote more resources toward job creation and economic growth. Aid is also going to governmental, legal, and civil society development. The U.S. helped with the elections in 2011 and sponsored a Constitutional Program that allowed U.S. Supreme Court Justices Breyer and Ginsburg to meet with members of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly and others in preparation for the debate and draft of the new constitution.