Western powers and their allies in the Middle East hope to grease the wheels of democracy and political stability as they begin to release billions of dollars in loans and other financial aid to the region’s Arab Spring economies.
The economies of countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan are facing a near-perfect storm of political unrest combined with negative growth and rising prices for imported energy and food. But the emerging aid pipeline may be clogged by domestic opposition inside donor countries. Recipients may balk at the conditions placed on much of the aid.
Aid could ease the way for Egypt and Tunisia to evolve into Western-friendly democracies as well as give a boost to beleaguered friends like Jordan’s King Abdullah. Without it, deteriorating economic conditions risk strengthening the hand of already powerful Islamic movements and undermining public confidence in the free markets and private business that economists say are needed to ensure long-term prosperity.
(Typical misleading headline, when it is Saudi Arabia who promised the largest amount!!!!)