Last Update 20:52
Thursday, 17 October 2019

Minister, parliamentary rights committee discuss NGO crisis in Egypt

International Cooperation Minister Fayza Aboul-Naga explains Egypt's ongoing crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs

Ahram Online, Tuesday 7 Feb 2012
Fayza Aboul Naga, minister of planning and international cooperation (Photo by:Reuters)
Fayza Aboul Naga, minister of planning and international cooperation (Photo by:Reuters)
Views: 1871
Views: 1871

Within the context of Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on foreign-funded NGOs, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fayza Aboul-Naga on Tuesday met with parliament’s human rights committee. At the meeting, Aboul-Naga asserted that the US government had provided NGOs operating in Egypt without permission with some $175 million between April and June of last year, the state-run Middle East News Agency reported.

Aboul-Naga also reportedly said that Egypt’s primary concern was the foreign funding of NGOs within the rubric of Washington’s longstanding economic assistance program to Egypt. Egypt has received substantial military and economic assistance from the US – with the former dwarfing the latter – ever since it signed the Camp David peace treaty with Israel in 1979.

Aboul-Naga also reportedly said that, along with the US, some Arab governments had also funded NGOs with operations in Egypt, although no investigations had been conducted in this regard.

During negotiations with the US government, Aboul-Naga reportedly agreed that no prior approval for funding was required as long as the NGO in question was legal and the funding did not exceed $20 million a year.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Aboul-Naga asserted that the Egyptian government was not opposed to civil society, but stressed that all NGOs operating in the country must adhere to Egyptian law.

Egypt currently hosts some 23,000 NGOs, of which 4,500 were registered in 2011. Of the latter, 80 are foreign including 23 US-based organisations.

Several Egyptian rights activists also attended Tuesday’s meeting.

Egypt this week charged 43 civil society employees with violating laws regulating the operation of NGOs. Those facing charges include US, European and Egyptian nationals.

Obama administration officials and US lawmakers, meanwhile, have criticised Egypt’s plans to prosecute the civil-society workers and a spate of December raids on NGO offices in Cairo.

An Egyptian military delegation visiting Washington this week cancelled a meeting with US senators after being called home due to the foreign-funding dispute.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.