The United States has been the biggest financial supporter of Egypt for the past thirty-five years. More than thirty of them have been under the presidency of Hosni Mubarak.
In addition to billions of dollars of military support, US AID has contributed more billions to education and social welfare programmes. It is shame therefore that after decades of investment, the people of Egypt feel so oppressed by a regime with a reputation for police brutality, electoral fraud and structural government corruption that they have taken to the streets in protest.
Here is what US AID says about its work in Egypt.
The US Government through the US Agency for International Development [US AID] has made significant contributions over the past thirty years to help improve the quality of life of all Egyptians. Nationwide programmes in health, education, trade facilitation, small and mico-enterprise, tourism and infrastructure development have benefitted Egyptians across the country , especially those in under-served areas. US Economic assistance to Egypt through the United States Agency for International Development has totalled more than $28,500,000,000 since 1975.
Although real improvements have accrued as a result of this support, the people are still less well-educated than the population of Tunisia and earn less than those of Bangladesh or Laos. See: nationsonline.org
Here are a few more statistics to make you despair of the Mubarak regime…
Percentage of infants with low birth weight: 13%
Under 5’s Mortality rate: 97th best in the world
Female genital mutilation rate [women aged 15 – 49]: 96%
Child labour male [8 – 14 years] 8%
Child marriage women [a dependent child]: 17%
Gross National Income per capita : $1,800
Literacy rate: 72%
Males with a good understanding of HIV infection [2003-8]: 18%
Females with a good understanding of HIV infection [2003-8]: 5%
Percentage of people with access to a phone: 40%
Percentage of people with access to the internet: 14%
US aid in 2008: $1,083,000
US aid since 1975: $28,600,000,000…
Isn’t it time the US and the rest of the world stopped funding corrupt regimes just because they have oil or are strategically placed?