U.S. Foreign Assistance to the Middle East: Historical Background, Recent Trends, and the FY2006 Request [Updated June 13, 2005] [open pdf - 131KB]
"This report is an overview of U.S. foreign assistance to the Middle East from FY2002 through the FY2006 budget request .1 It includes a brief historical review of foreign aid levels, a description of specific country programs, and an analysis of current foreign aid issues.2 Congress both authorizes and appropriates foreign assistance and conducts oversight on executive agencies management of aid programs. As the largest regional recipient of U.S. economic and military aid, the Middle East is perennially a major focus of interest as Congress exercises these responsibilities. In the Middle East, the United States has a number of strategic interests, ranging from support for the state of Israel and Israels peaceful relations with its Arab neighbors, to the protection of vital petroleum supplies and the fight against international terrorism. U.S. assistance was provided to support the 1979 Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt and the continued stability of the Kingdom of Jordan, which signed its own peace treaty with Israel in 1994. U.S. funding also attempts to improve Palestinian civil society, and aid officials have worked to ensure that U.S. aid to the West Bank and Gaza Strip is not diverted to terrorist groups. Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the United States has established new region-wide aid programs that promote democracy and encourage socio-economic reform in an attempt to undercut the forces of radicalism in some Arab countries."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32260