Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freedom House Criticizes U.S. Administration Demands to Reduce Democracy Aid to Egypt

By Fathia el-Dakhakhni
The American Freedom House Organization criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for demanding to reduce the funds allocated for the support of democracy in Egypt by half from the 2010 budget.“Demanding to reduce the funds of civil society organizations in Egypt is very frustrating,” the organization said.In a statement yesterday, the organization asked to reallocate the funds that were given in 2008 by President George W. Bush’s administration, emphasizing support for increasing funds for the Middle East Partnership Initiative, and for democracy, especially in Lebanon, Yemen, Morocco, Libya Tunisia and Algeria, to address human rights violations in the Middle East.
In a report analyzing the Obama administration’s demands in regards to the 2010 democracy and human rights support budget, the organization said that the funds allocated to support civil society organizations in Egypt amount to US $22 million this year, which Congress wants to reduce to US $20 million next year, compared to US $54 million in 2008, broken down as follows: US $3.75 million for civil society, US$18.05 million for human rights and the rule of law, and US $5 million for good governance.
Freedom House called for adding another US $20 million to support democracy in Egypt.

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