US, Israeli agencies sign memorandum on Africa aid (JERUSALEM POST) By HILARY LEILA KRIEGER, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 04/19/12)
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WASHINGTON – The international development agencies in Israel and
America signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday to increase
cooperation on food aid to Africa.
The MOU between USAID and Mashav (the Israel Agency for International
Development Cooperation in the Foreign Ministry) was the first of its
kind, according to Mashav head Daniel Carmon, though he stressed
that “this MOU is not the start of the relationship; it’s the
continuing and the strengthening of the relationship.”
Though the US and Israel have both long provided development
assistance in Africa, the MOU allows for closer cooperation on the
issue of food security in four countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania
and Rwanda. The assistance will include help with food production and
crop cycles, as well as addressing environmental issues that go
beyond the agricultural sector, Carmon said.
It also ties Israel more tightly into the issue of fighting for food
security and other major issues on the global development agenda.
Carmon noted that development – alongside diplomacy and security –
was one of the pillars of Israel’s foreign policy and said that
increasing cooperation with USAID was not only “the right thing to do
but the smart thing to do.”
He added that having an project emblazoned with both American and
Israel flags sends an important signal beyond both countries’ shores.
“It’s a very strong message between ourselves, and a very strong
message to the developing world,” he said.
Carmon came to Washington to a attended the MOU signing ceremony
Wednesday. The event was closed to the press soon before the ceremony
began after press had initially been invited.
A member of the USAID press office said the decision to shut out
press was due to a last-minute USAID staffing issue and attributed
the change to “poor planning.” (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post
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