US to help fund Egypt’s democratization projects

The United States has declared its willingness to fund institutions with plans aimed at emboldening democratization efforts in Egypt.
The US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) has agreed to support “projects that will have a direct and lasting impact toward an inclusive, stable democratic process that protects fundamental freedoms, stable democratic institutions, and the rule of law in Egypt.”
The announcement said program proposals should include at least two of a range of democracy targets, including recommendations and follow-up actions concerning anti-terrorism legislation and its use in detention and prosecution.
“DRL will not consider proposals that reflect any type of support for any member, affiliate, or representative of a designated terrorist organization, whether or not elected members of government,” said the office.
Egyptian authorities have been increasingly sensitive towards NGOs working in the human rights field, with many organizations forced to shut down and prosecuted over charges of receiving illegal funds. The government has been pushing for laws that impose tighter restrictions on the funding and registration of NGOs, which activists view as an attempt to silence voices critical of its human rights record.

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