US officials discussing cutting US aid to Egypt over NGOs bill
US officials are considering withholding a portion of America’s aid package to Egypt to protest the controversial the NGOs law that is viewed in the international community as repressive, a senior administration official tells Reuters. The official claims the US warned Egypt not to implement the bill, but “have not reached an agreement on whether to proceed with a recommendation to President Donald Trump and his senior leadership, but there is a feeling that some action is necessary in reaction to the move by Egypt.” Three US Republican senators had already publicly criticized the NGOs law in June.
Putting America first doesn’t mean cutting aid to allies on the front lines of global threats, says EAEF’s Harmon: Meanwhile, Egyptian American Enterprise Fund Chairman James Harmon writes about the virtues of providing development assistance through enterprise funds, which use seed capital from the US government to invest in the Egyptian private sector. He argues that investments by enterprise funds in SMEs — especially in light of the economic reform agenda — would be crucial in poverty alleviation and helping youth unemployment during a time of a battle for hearts and minds against terrorism. “It is a false paradigm to assume that in today’s political climate putting America first means reducing foreign aid to allies at the frontlines of global threats,” Harmon says in the piece for the Hill.