While sequester cuts are the topic of fearful discussion at home, Secretary of State John Kerry announced Sunday that the United States will be providing $250 million in foreign aid to Egypt. According to the March 3 New York Times, Kerry made the announcement after he met with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, and there will be more foreign aid to Egypt coming. President Obama pledged a billion dollars to Egypt in May 2011.
This installment in the USA’s foreign aid to Egypt being discussed today is comprised of $190 million to go directly to the budget to address the country’s “extreme needs.” The other $60 million will go to help small businesses in Egypt. Meanwhile, small businesses in the United States are facing closures because of the requirements of the new government healthcare plan.
While there were no real commitments on the part of Egypt in order to secure the United States aid mentioned in Secretary of State John Kerry’s announcement, President Mohamed Morsi did agree to continue negotiating with the International Money Fund about reforms. The need for fair elections in Egypt was also discussed in the meeting between Kerry and President Morsi, according to the New York Times article.
Secretary Kerry said that additional funds would be approved after an agreement is reached with the I.M.F. The I.M.F. is pressing for some changes in Egypt’s economic policies.
With the panic over sequester cuts taking center stage here in the U.S., this news of such large scale foreign aid to Egypt may be hard for many to understand. Hundreds of illegal aliens were released out of federal prisons because the Obama Administration said there would not be money to house them after sequester cuts. You can read about that in the New York Times.
The White House has been accused of using fear tactics to get an agreement involving tax increases out of the Republican House. The federal sequester cuts were signed into place on March 1.