Delivering economic assistance to Arab countries in political transition

Michele Dunne, Director of the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East spoke in the second plenary session at the 2013 ERF Annual Conference.

In the video below, Dunne reflects on the key issues she thinks are important to address when it comes to economic development of the Arab countries undergoing the current political transition towards democracy.


According to Dunne, Egypt and Tunisia are facing economic, security and political crises, all intertwined. So far, the international community has not been able to find ways to deliver meaningful economic assistance in light of the ongoing political turmoil. Tunisia and Egypt, while taking different paths on their political transitions are now coming to a similar point: both have a lot of political polarization between Islamist and non Islamist and difficulties in addressing their economic and security challenges because of a lack of political consensus.

Her advise goes primarily to the US Government and the international community: “we as outsiders should interest ourselves not in a particular person who is in power or out of power but rather in the development of sound democratic systems, sound economic policies, responsible foreign policies; and we need to find the way to provide economic support and facilitate the investments needed to support the economies that are going through this difficult political transitions.”

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