U.S. makes 'good faith' economic aid package to Egypt
$250 million far less than $1 billion promised, which is contingent on democratic reforms
Since toppling Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the democratically elected government of Mohamed Morsi has proven to be a great disappointment. Morsi granted himself sweeping powers and there have been reoccurrences of the demonstrations and riots that preceded the ouster of Mubarak. Keenly aware of the situation, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released $250 million in economic aid - far less than the $1 billion originally promised.
"It is clear that more hard work and compromise will be required to restore unity, political stability and economic health to Egypt," John Kerry said. "The upcoming parliamentary elections are a particularly critical step in Egypt's democratic transition."
There is an additional $260 million in budget support funds still pending. There is a further $550 million for scholarships and loan guarantees, in a separate tranche of money. Release of these funds is reliant on Morsi's following through on political and economic steps.
"The brave Egyptians who stood vigil in Tahrir Square did not risk their lives to see that opportunity for a brighter future squandered," Kerry said. "The Egyptian people must come together to address their economic challenge."
Kerry's announcement came after a series of weekend meetings in Cairo with a cross-section of Egyptians and a two-hour session with Morsi.
"When Egypt takes the difficult steps to strengthen its economy and build political unity and justice, we will work with our Congress at home on additional support," Kerry said in a written statement on the talks.
"In light of Egypt's extreme needs" and assurances by Morsi that he will take the steps necessary to obtain a major loan package from the International Monetary Fund, Kerry said the United States would provide the first $190 million of $450 million in already-promised support funds to the Egyptian government budget.
The U.S. will also provide $60 million in direct support for an Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund geared toward Egypt's entrepreneurs and fund a higher-education initiative to help students, especially women, earn undergraduate degrees in science, technology, engineering and business.
Kerry said he was relying on Morsi's assurances that he would implement "homegrown" reforms to help secure agreement with the IMF and "put Egypt on the path to establishing a firm economic foundation and allow it to chart its own course."
Morsi "agreed and said he plans to move quickly to do so," Kerry said.
Washington, which is Egypt's leading ally, has concerns about free and fair elections, human rights, police conduct, clampdowns on nongovernmental organizations and other problems that beset Egypt's troubled transition to democracy.
"It is clear that more hard work and compromise will be required to restore unity, political stability and economic health to Egypt," Kerry said. "The upcoming parliamentary elections are a particularly critical step in Egypt's democratic transition."
Of course, of growing concern is the intensifying persecution against Christians and members of other religious communities in Egypt under the leadership of Morsi and the Muslim brotherhood. However, the Obama administration has said virtually nothing about this undeniable fact.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Africa News
- Muslims flee Central African Republic - only 1,000 remain out of 100,000 in capital
- Four Nigerian men accused of homosexuality
- WHAT? Egyptian army claims both a cure for AIDS, hepatitis C
- Coptic Orthodox Church condemns killing of Egyptians in Libya
- West African nation of Mauritania should take broader steps to stop slavery
- Bill outlawing Homosexual behavior becomes law in Uganda, carries death penalty for acts of 'aggravated homosexuality'
- Nearly 100 people killed in Islamist attack in Northeast Nigerian village
- AFRICA'S SHAME: HIV positive teens, children dying due to failure to test them
- South Sudanese rebels claim seizure of Malakal
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?