US plans to maintain support for Egypt in spite of crackdown on non-governmental organisations
US President Barack Obama has announced plans to maintain the same level of US military aid to Egypt while also pledging $770m in economic aid to help countries involved in the Arab Uprising movement. The US currently provides $1.3bn per year to Egypt in military aid.
The proposals are part of President Obama’s budget request for fiscal year 2013, which begins on 1 October. The allocations require the approval of Congress to pass.
The announcement follows statements from the military council that it will crackdown on foreign-backed non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) said in early-February that it intends to put 43 people on trial for assisting NGOs working in Egypt. The defendants, who include 19 US citizens, are charged with “establishing and managing branches of international organisations without permission from the Egyptian government”.
The US government reacted with a threat to withdraw up to $1.5bn in aid. However, if the proposed US budget is passed, the US would maintain the same level of support for post-revolution Egypt.
Obama has proposed $51.6bn to fund the US State Department and foreign aid around the world, including $8.2bn for war zones.