Funding of pastry chef program is just latest grant to Mideast

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In addition to bombing ISIS as it marches across the Mideast, the Obama administration has devised a new, supplemental plan to address the negative impact the radical Muslim terror army and other destabilizing forces are having on the region: Dump millions more in U.S. taxpayer dollars into promoting tourism there.

The U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, continues to focus on bolstering the lagging hospitality industry in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where the agency granted contracting giant Chemonics International yet another award to boost the viability of that business sector.

The latest project will focus on creating a new Bakery and Pastry Skills program at a Vocational Training Center in the city of Irbid.

The U.S. under both the Obama and George W. Bush administrations has launched programs over the past decade-plus in an attempt to increase tourism-related employment in Jordan.

The U.S. from 1951 through 2013 provided Jordan with economic and military aid totaling $13.83 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report released last month and made available by the Federation of American Scientists.

Under Obama the U.S. has provided about $660 million in annual foreign assistance to Jordan; and in the year ahead, the U.S. and Jordanian governments “may try to reach a new five-year aid deal.”

The U.S. continues to assist Jordan as it views the nation as a moderate force in the Middle East.

“Despite conflict on its borders, [Jordan] appears to remain a relatively stable and reliable partner for the United States in the Arab world,” the CRS report says.

“Jordan’s strategic importance to the United States may be increasing given its ongoing participation in Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State,” also known as ISIS, or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Both the Bush and Obama administrations undertook tourism job-creation efforts despite the general Jordanian view that such employment is demeaning and beneath their stature, the latest contracting document suggests.

USAID credits itself for gradually reversing that cultural distinction.

“While jobs in the tourism sector have been traditionally taboo for Jordanians, more and more are realizing that there are a wide variety of employment opportunities,” according to contracting documents WND discovered via routine database research.

Jordanian youth now “are finding employment in that sector in record numbers.”

USAID likewise claims that 50,000 Jordanians are now directly employed in that nation’s hospitality industry, and expects that number to increase by 25,000 “in the coming few years.”

Written by STEVE PEACOCK
Read more at WND

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