Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will give a combined $100 million to a World Bank fund for women entrepreneurs that was the brainchild of Ivanka Trump.
The declaration by World Bank President Jim Young Kim came amid a visit to Saudi Arabia by President Trump. Joined by his wife, Melania, daughter Ivanka and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
“We thought it was a fantastic idea. But we had no idea how quickly this would build. This is really a stunning achievement. I’ve never seen anything come together so quickly, and I really have to say that Ivanka’s leadership has been tremendous.” Kim said.
The money will help commence a $1 billion women’s empowerment fund that the World Bank will announce in July.
The UAE’s U.S. ambassador, Yousef Al Otaiba, said that the donation mirrors “our commitment to empowering women in our region and builds on the progress we have made in our country, where women play a role in every segment of society.”
Trump frequently excoriated the Clinton Foundation
The donation raised a few eyebrows since Trump consistently excoriated the Clinton Foundation for accepting donations from Middle East administrations.
A June 2016 Facebook post in which Trump stated, “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”
Trump additionally told Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, “Saudi Arabia giving $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business – off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money.”
The World Bank fund, which gives specialized help and venture financing for women business owners, contrasts from the Clinton Foundation in some huge ways. While Ivanka Trump proposed the thought alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she is not included with its operation.
Norm Eisen, former ethics official for the Obama Administration, noted in an email to NPR.
“In my view, foreign government donations to a fund run by a reputable international organization like the World Bank for a good cause are generally acceptable.”
However, Eisen said the donations should be entirely reviewed and should be transparent.
“In light of what we know, there’s no reason to believe that those two things did not occur. All things considered, the hypocrisy is concerning. And the general miasma of corruption that surrounds all things Trump suggests some extra scrutiny here. I don’t see this fund as a major issue on the off chance that she doesn’t request [donations] and it is entirely World Bank run,” said Richard Painter, former ethics adviser to the George W. Bush administration.