Democracy Assistance: Lessons Learned from Egypt Should Inform Future U.S. Plans

Zac Bourke

Series: Political Science and History
BISAC: POL007000

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For over 30 years, Egypt has been a key strategic partner of the United States and the recipient of billions of dollars of U.S. assistance. Starting with its revolution in January 2011, Egypt has undergone a series of ,+political transitions. Shortly after the revolution, the U.S. government allocated $65 million in assistance for a range of activities to support Egypt’s progress toward democracy. However, the Egyptian government objected to the U.S. government providing this assistance directly to NGOs, including to some that it viewed not to be registered under Egyptian law. In June 2013, the Egyptian government convicted employees of four U.S. NGOs.

The report included in this book examine (1) the extent to which the U.S. government identified and managed potential risks of providing U.S. democracy and governance assistance in Egypt; (2) what support, if any, the U.S. government provided to the NGOs prosecuted by the Egyptian government; and (3) the extent to which U.S. democracy and governance assistance in Egypt has been affected, if at all, by the prosecution of NGO workers. GAO analyzed U.S. government and NGO documents and interviewed U.S., Egyptian, and NGO officials in Washington D.C. and Egypt.

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Letter
A. Background
B. The US Government Identified Risks but Has Not Incorporated Lessons Learned from Experience in Egypt
C. The US Government Provided the NGOs prosecuted in Egypt with Diplomatic, Legal, Financial and Grant Flexibility Support
D. The Prosecution of NGO Workers Affected US Democracy and Governance Assistance in Egypt
E. Conclusions
F. Recommendation for Executive Action
G. Agency Comments

Appendix I. Scope and Methodology
Appendix II. Comments from the Department of State
Appendix III. Comments from the US Agency for International Development
Appendix IV. GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments

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