US Ambassador to Cairo provides Egypt list of US-funded societies

The US has handed the Egyptian government a list of the Egyptian societies that receive American funding, US Ambassador to Cairo Anne Patterson said in an interview with Al-Ahram published Thursday.

“[Funds for the support of democracy] are declared after some time. These funds are the money of American taxpayers and there is difficulty in easily revealing where they are dispersed,” Patterson said.

Patterson previously said that the US has dispersed US$40 million to a number of civil society organizations to support human rights.

Egyptian civil society organizations working to reinforce democracy suffer control and restriction over their activities if they are not registered with the government.

The Egyptian government severely criticized the US last June after the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) advertised open grants for civil society organizations in Egyptian newspapers. The Egyptian government considers unregistered civil society organizations receiving foreign funds a violation of Egyptian law and harmful to the sovereignty of the country.

The Egyptian government has tasked the justice minister to form a fact-finding committee to prepare a detailed report on the direct foreign funding of unregistered civil society organizations.

The government has referred a report on illegal foreign funding to investigative authorities, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Fayza Abouelnaga said in September.

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