ForeignPolicy.com: A Closer Look at the “Mubarak Trust Fund”
|Tuesday, April 20,2010 14:21|
Stephen McInerney, POMED’s Director of Advocacy, published an article at ForeignPolicy.com about the potential establishment by the U.S. of an “endowment” for the Egyptian government, popularly referred to as the “Mubarak Trust Fund.” The FY10 appropriations bill passed by Congress in December allows the administration to use “up to $50 million” to establish an endowment to “further the shared interests” of both countries. McInerney argues that the reason for creating this special endowment is quite evident: “the Egyptian government thinks the process by which the U.S. Congress allocates foreign aid to more than 100 countries is no longer good enough for Egypt — and it appears that the Obama administration and Congress may agree.”
He traces the roots of this fund to Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who originally led an effort within Congress in 2007 to distribute funds for such an endowment and succeeded last year in including language in the FY 2010 omnibus appropriations bill allocating $50 million. Few members of Congress were aware of the endowment and no details were provided in the bill that specified its structure or purpose.
McInerney sees a number of troubling elements. The endowment lacks a clear governing structure; it is not tied to political or economic reforms; and it would unnecessarily takes a new approach for education assistance that stands in stark contrast to how the U.S. supports education globally. With Congress a few months away from appropriating funds for FY 2011, McInerney makes the following assertion: “Unless a compelling case is made for providing additional funding to an ambiguous, ill-defined endowment, Congress ought to think twice before further diminishing its own role in the U.S.-Egypt aid relationship.” Source