Govt source: Post-revolution aid from US was given to unregistered entities

The US$42 million assistance package announced by the US earlier this month went to NGOs, companies and law firms not registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, said an Egyptian government source.

There are around 26,000 civil society organizations registered with the ministry.

US Ambassador to Egypt Ann Patterson had announced that the US gave Egyptian NGOs assistance amounting to $42 million over the three weeks that followed the 25 January revolution. This was part of an immediate aid package totaling $150 million.

Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, the source called for legislation to penalize NGOs that received foreign funds without government permission, adding that penalties for concealing the receipt of foreign funds for any purposes should be harsher.

The source said Egyptian officials had emphasized to the US that Egypt, as an independent sovereign state, will not allow Egyptian NGOs to receive foreign funds without government approval, particularly in light of the current local and regional conditions.

Meanwhile, Gamal Bayoumi, secretary general of the Arab Investors Union, said that the US giving assistance directly to Egyptian NGOs without obtaining the approval of the Egyptian government is wrong.

He added that economic assistance to Egypt has never been granted in the form of liquid money, but always invested in economic projects to guarantee that the funds will be used as planned. He said Egypt is a country that uses economic assistance in the best way.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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