PM Chahed’s recent visit to the U.S. advocate against the reduction of U.S. assistance and support for Tunisia came at a critical time when the administration proposal was being debated in the hill.
During his meetings with the U.S. Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Secretary of Treasury, PM Chahed argued that the cutting of funds appropriated for economic and military aid would affect the efforts Tunisia has been making on national security and countering terrorism. He also argued that it would affect the economic reforms and development of the democratic institutions Tunisia has been advancing since after the Revolution. The argument resonated with the U.S. partners, notably influential members of congress, as they all reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support the region and in this case Tunisia.
Congress rejected the new administration’s 61% cut in aid to Tunisia and actually increased it to $165.4 million as follows: $79 million in Economic Support Fund; $13 million in International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement; $6.1 million in Nonproliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining and Related Programs; $2.3 million in International Military Education and Training; and $65 million in Foreign Military Financing Program.