Egypt establishes ‘fund to honor martyrs,’ finance compensation scheme for victims’ families

Students, concert goers and foreigners are among several groups who will fund a mass compensation scheme that will benefit the families of those “killed, injured or reported as missing as a result of military, terrorist or security operations,” according to a new law published in the Official Gazette on Thursday.

The law imposes a LE5 in the form of donations, grants and fines levied on 14 services, money that the state will reroute in the form of cash or direct benefits.

As per the new law, beneficiaries will be entitled to scholarships for the duration of their pre-university education. They will be given priority in state and private sector employment opportunities, and those who do not have medical insurance will be treated in police and Armed Forces-owned hospitals. The fund will grant beneficiaries a 50 percent discount on public transport. Beneficiaries will also be entitled to pilgrimage slots, free admission at state museums, parks and theaters, as well as residential units in state housing projects.

The board of directors of the newly established fund will authorize the allocation of grants or cash benefits for a specified period of time as they see fit. Board members will also determine the amount of one-off compensations.

According to Article 7 of the new law, the LE5 will be levied on:

  1. Weapon permits
  2. Driving licenses
  3. Vehicle licenses
  4. Security clearance requests  
  5. Ticket sales from sports games
  6. Ticket sales from music concerts and festivals
  7. Applications for military and police academies  
  8. Residence permits for non-Egyptians
  9. Work permits for Egyptians employed by foreign entities, inside and outside Egypt
  10. Sale of booklets for government tenders and bids
  11. Government procurement contracts
  12. Permits to establish or renew private or international schools
  13. Requests to own land or residential units offered by the state in new, suburban communities
  14. Applications for membership of sports clubs and annual renewal of existing memberships

In addition, the law imposes a “solidarity contribution” of LE5 on every student from primary to secondary, and LE10 on university students in order to raise young people’s awareness about “the fight against terrorism.”

The law established a medal called “Long Live Egypt” to honor military and police personnel as well as civilians who “display acts of bravery and sacrifice in the face of terrorist operations.” Winners of the first degree medal will be entitled to a monthly reward of LE2,000, and runner ups will be awarded LE1,000 monthly.

The newly established fund is independent of the state budget. It will be regulated by the Central Auditing Authority and will be exempt from taxes. Consequently, any donations paid toward the fund will be deemed tax credit.

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