The Egypt economy/aid debate

Over at the NYT's Room for Debate, the discussion is How Allies Can Help Egypt Get Back on Its Feet. I agree with Shadi Hamid that aid must be made conditional on clear benchmarks and with Khaled Fahmy on the need for transparency and accountability (which often is not given by the donors themselves). Ellen Lust makes excellent point that money can create new problems, what she calls the "bifurcation". As for Emad Shahin, who wants aid with no strings attached (here I think he means punitive neoliberal "reforms"), I've disagreed with him in the past. My bottom line: no completed transition, no aid.

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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.