This article looks at the origins of the family planning program in Egypt as a case study in the history of relations between the emerging community of international donors, state officials, and local actors in the postwar period. The paper suggests that Americans and Egyptians were not in polar opposition over family planning. Egyptian women activists, medical specialists, state officials, and American population experts formed alliances that crossed national boundaries and cut at cross purposes to promote their varied agendas. The main losers in the scramble to establish family planning in Egypt were those female reformers who had been the first to endorse it and offer contraceptives in their clinics. At stake was control over an important form of aid that affected millions of women, management of a key program in the emerging social welfare state, and a victory in development circles.

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