The US State Department announced on Tuesday that it has requested $7 billion to promote stability, security and economic partnerships with countries in the Middle East in 2015. If approved, the funds will support countries in transition including Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, as well as provide aid to the Syrian people, especially those displaced, and help strengthen reforms in the region. Jordan and Israel will also benefit from the funds.
US President Barack Obama has requested a budget of $46.2 billion in total for fiscal year 2015 to finance the various international programmes of the US State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The Middle East is the largest regional recipient of funds in the proposed budget.
The US State Department issued a statement on Tuesday noting that the new budget reflects: "continued American leadership in pursuit of stability and prosperity while making tough trade-offs to support national security, diplomatic and development priorities."
The statement repeatedly stresses the importance of American leadership and protecting national security, adding that the US State Department and USAID budget helps to enhance security, stability and creates jobs to face some of the challenges faced by the world today, ranging from fighting extremism to global food security and climate change.