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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Egypt rejects USAID money

Al Masry al Youm reported last month:
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced that its annual assitance program in Egypt, sheduled to be implemented in mid 2011, should satisfy the direct needs of Egypt in the fields of employment, economic development and combating poverty.

USAID allocated a significant portion of its assistance over the past years to bolstering democracy in Egypt.

In a statement, USAID said the program will be implemented with the help of NGOs, Egyptian, American or international, and the private sector.

USAID also said it is seeking to respond to the needs specified by the Egyptian community in the field of democratic development.
Indeed, the USAID Egypt site says:
The U.S. Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has made significant contributions over the past 30 years to help improve the quality of life of all Egyptians. Nationwide programs in health, education, trade facilitation, small and micro-enterprise, tourism, and infrastructure development have benefited Egyptians acrosscountry, especially those in under-served areas. US economic assistance to Egypt through the United States Agency for International Development has totaled more than $28.6 billion since 1975.
The Egyptian government has formally rejected this aid - saying that it included too many conditions.

From Ikhwanweb (there are a number of Egyptian newspapers in Arabic reporting the same thing):
Egypt has officially rejected conditional US aid worth USD 150 million in light of US economic support to Egypt, helping it overcome its economic woes and support the process of democratization in the post-January 25 revolution.

The US embassy in Cairo has received a formal letter from the Egyptian Foreign Minister that the Egyptian government rejects US conditions on aid and unilateral coercive economic measures by the US Agency for International Development.

Egyptian minister of planning and international cooperation Fayza Aboulnaga and Finance Minister Samir Radwan visited Washington last month, asking the US to cancel a debt amounting to about $3.6 billion to help the country's new government restore growth and create jobs for young people, but Washington refused.

The cabinet says the US aid is unnecessary and rejects US unilateral resolutions with regard to the US direct funding assistance mainly to the Egyptian private sector, Civil Society Organizations (CSO) and NGOs, arguing social justice is one of the more prominent roles that the country and businessmen should be committed to.
So far, no word from USAID about this.