U.S. AID TO EGYPT: WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
U.S. AID TO EGYPT: WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
08/29/2013 · by carylsue · in Current Event Connection, Geography In the News, Main. ·
Egypt is one of the biggest recipients of U.S. aid in the world. President Obama’s 2014 budget tentatively includes $1.55 billion in funding.
In the wake of July’s military coup that ousted democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, many Americans have called for a halt or reduction to that aid, which the White House is considering.
So, where does all that money go? (ProPublica)
Use our resources to better understand foreign aid, and SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE if and how you think the U.S. should aid Egypt.
Egyptian women dance a traditional “dabke” in Tahrir Square, Cairo, after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, which overthrew the military regime of Hosni Mubarak and led to the democratic election of Mohamed Morsi. Morsi himself was forced out by the military less than two years later. Photograph by Alexandra Avakian, National Geographic
Egyptian women dance a traditional “dabke” in Tahrir Square, Cairo, after the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, which overthrew the military regime of Hosni Mubarak and led to the democratic election of Mohamed Morsi. Morsi himself was forced out by the military less than two years later.
Photograph by Alexandra Avakian, National Geographic
Read our “media spotlight” on foreign aid to Afghanistan. More than 70% of aid to both Afghanistan and Egypt goes to one sector of the economy. Can students identify this sector, and why the U.S. prioritizes it?
Sector: Military, sometimes called “security,” funding accounts for most foreign aid to Afghanistan and Egypt. In Afghanistan, security funding accounts for about 71% of almost $80 billion in aid over the last decade. In Egypt, that figure is a whopping 84%, with $1.3 billion out of Egypt’s annual $1.5 billion in aid.
Priority in Afghanistan: According to the media spotlight (based on a GAO report), military aid in Afghanistan supports the U.S. strategic goal: “to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qaeda and prevent its return to Afghanistan.” Military aid suppresses al-Qaida and al-Qaida sympathizers. This benefits the Afghan government and citizens, as well as the U.S., which recognizes Afghanistan as a front line in the War on Terror.
Priority in Egypt: According to ProPublica, military aid to Egypt promotes peace between Egypt and Israel. (Israel is the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid.) Aid to Egypt also “gives the U.S. benefits such as ‘expedited processing’ for U.S. Navy warships when they pass through the Suez Canal.”
What do students think is included in “military aid” or “security funding” to Egypt?
Equipment. The article mentions F-16 fighters, Apache helicopters, tanks, armored personnel carriers, anti-aircraft missile batteries, and surveillance aircraft.
What do students think is included in “economic aid” to Egypt? Review the media spotlight on Afghanistan for some hints.
Economic aid includes humanitarian and infrastructure programs. The article mentions training programs in the U.S. for Egyptian hospital administrators, teachers and other government workers. It also mentions programs to promote the sale of U.S. goods in Egypt and a program to modernize Egypt’s real-estate finance market.
Why do students think the U.S. gives Egypt so much foreign aid?
Economic and political benefits.
Economic: Economic benefits include “‘expedited processing’ for U.S. Navy warships when they pass through the Suez Canal,” and billions of dollars of government contracts for the U.S. defense industry.
Political: The ProPublica article says few nations are “as important to U.S. foreign policy as Egypt.” Why do students think Egypt is so politically important to the U.S.? Look at the “Major Religions” layer in our MapMaker Interactive for a hint.
Egypt is a strong U.S. ally in the Middle East and the Muslim world.
How do you think President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry should approach aid to Egypt?
Continue the current level of funding. Egypt is a key player in maintaining peace with Israel and supporting U.S. policies in the Middle East.
Reduce aid to the military and focus on economic and humanitarian programs.
Cut all aid to the military and focus on economic and humanitarian programs.
Continue the current level of funding, but force Egypt to “transition to civilian government, including holding free and fair elections,” and put in place policies to support human rights.
Reduce aid. $2 billion is a lot of money, and Saudi Arabia and other neighbors have vowed to make up for any reduction in U.S. aid to Egypt anyway.
Increase aid. Egypt is a major ally in the War on Terror.
Cut all aid. Egypt is being run by unelected military leaders, and violence has erupted on in the streets.