The U.S. administration has decided to reduce to its economic aid to Egypt to $112 million, from $150 million, yet pending Congress approval, said Amr Kotb, director of external relations at the Tahrir Research Institute, on Wednesday.
In a press statement on the sidelines of the 40th door-knocking delegation in Washington, Kotb explained that the decision was taken due to Egypt’s failure over the past six years, since the 2011 uprising, to make a good use of a large part of the aid.
“There is a trend inside the US administration to reduce its expenditures,” Kotb added, noting that Egypt would not be affected by this reduction.
“The Egyptian government has achieved improvement in significant economic indicators; however, the people still suffer from the severe surge in prices. Hence, the government has to control inflation, create jobs, and improve the education and health sectors,”
“President al-Sisi has made positive steps in this direction, when he launched the [third] youth conference last week, to listen to the young people’s problems.” However, this conference lacked a proper representation of civil society organisations, he stated.
Kotb expressed his concerns that the U.S. administration could reduce its military aid to Egypt in the future.
For his part, Alison McManus, head of research at Tahrir Institute, shared the same opinion, saying that “the U.S. administration is very concerned about what is going on in Sinai and the terrorist attacks targeting civilians and Copts.”
“No one questions President Trump’s support and respect for al-Sisi, but this support has not led to any developments on the ground so far. Egypt should not be satisfied with this support, but it should polish its image before the Congress to turn the U.S. support into positive steps,” McManus asserted.
Pope Francis’ visit to Egypt had great importance, which improved the country’s image before the entire world, especially following the terrorist attacks on Copts, she added.