During his remarks in Cairo, the President acknowledged the “rules on charitable giving” had created harsh barriers for legitimate charities and donors and pledged a “commitment” to remedy those restrictions. On May 12, 2010, a panel of U.S. nonprofit leaders and legal experts examined the administrations’ response to these concerns. The event hosted by the Muslim Public Affairs Council and the Charity and Security Network.
Speakers at the event, Commitment to Charitable Giving: One Year After Obama's Cairo Speech, described the policies that have harmed U.S. charitable work and offered model reforms. These remarks included:
Ellen D. Willmott, Deputy General Counsel for Save the Children USA described the real world consequences from restrictive and punitive counterterrorism measures. Willmott said by the material support laws force humanitarian workers in Gaza to limit who receives aid for basic essential items such as food, clean water and educational materials to children. She said this violates humanitarian principles of non-discrimination. As a result, organizations like hers provide resources to a limited number of children in private schools, but are unable to respond to the “needs of children in public schools.”
Kay Guinane, Program Manager at the Charity and Security Network concluded the panel discussion by calling on the President and officials in his administration to adopt a big picture approach. She said, "Currently the U.S. government's lens of anti-terrorist financing leads to a limited 'disrupt and dismantle' strategy that ignores the bigger picture. If we apply the lens of the humanitarian imperative, we see suffering that can be avoided and opportunities for peace that can be exploited. We urge the administration to adopt a humanitarian lens, as suggested in the letter. The result will be that practical, feasible solutions will become clear,” Guinane said.