USAID, Mashav sign agreement on Africa aid

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The U.S. Agency for International Development signed a memorandum of understanding with its Israeli counterpart, Mashav, on Israel-U.S. cooperation in Africa.

The agreement was signed April 18 in a closed ceremony.

"We bring unique things to the table," Mashav chief Daniel Carmon told JTA in an interview. Among nations offering aid, Carmon said, Israel was virtually alone as "a developing country that started from scratch and became a developed nation."

Mashav, in existence since 1957, has training programs in agriculture and medicine in Africa, India, China and Vietnam, among other nations.

In Washington, Carmon was meeting with Latin American leaders in a bid to expand Mashav activities in that region.

The agreement with USAID will focus on agricultural development in Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Rwanda.

The United States and Israel have cooperated on international aid since the early 1980s through the U.S.-Israel Cooperative Development Research, another program operated through USAID.

That program was launched by Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), now the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee. Berman was present at the latest memorandum of understanding signing.

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