FILE - Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr FILE - Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr

World Bank to provide $1B grants for Sinai development

Sun, Sep. 9, 2018
CAIRO - 9 September 2018: The World Bank commission in charge of following up with the Sinai Integrated Development Programme headed by Ashish Khanna and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr discussed on Sunday finalizing the measures necessary for $1B grants.

The ministry also secured financing in the value of $2.5 billion from the Saudi Development Fund, the Kuwait Fund for the Arab Economic Development, and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.

Nasr stipulated that the political leadership sets the peninsula’s development as a priority, aiming at creating jobs, constructing integrated roads and facilities network linking Sinai to other governorates, creating urban areas, establishing agricultural projects, building desalination plants and residential units as well as supporting SMEs and women breadwinners.

The minister and the commission held talks on cooperation to provide aid for the private sector, SMEs, women entrepreneurs and infrastructural projects which would attract investors who can benefit of tax incentives that can reach 50 percent exemption in the most deprived areas including Sinai.

Egypt and the Saudi Fund for Development signed a deal so that the latter provides a loan in the value of $1.5 billion. The first and second tranches in the value of $500 million and $400 million were delivered respectively in 2016 and 2017.

The projects financed would be executed on two stages. The first stage includes constructing King Salman bin Abdel Aziz University at Tour city, a development axis road on a distance of 90 km, a development axis on the coastal road, nine housing compounds, and Gady road.

The second stage comprises establishing a water treatment plant, a water reservoir, a road extending to Saudi desert of Naqb, the development of coastal road between Midan and Arish, and others.

The ministry and Kuwait Fund for the Arab Economic Development signed earlier a three-year $900 million deal where the Kuwaiti side finances projects of the Egyptian government program to develop the Sinai Peninsula. In 2017, the fund financed drinking water networks in North Sinai’s capital Arish with $40 million.

Five other agreements worth KWD 86.1 million ($287 million) were signed in March for Sinai development.

The value of the first agreement is KWD 60 million and it contributes to financing the Sharm El-Sheikh tunnel project, as part of the government's program for developing Sinai.

The second agreement is worth KWD 17.5 million and is allocated to contribute to financing the “Road 4” project, with the aim of improving transport movement inside Sinai.

Some KWD 500,000 are allocated for the third agreement in order to support the second phase of the activities of the Center for Strategic Documents, which is affiliated to the Information and Decision Support Center of the Cabinet, and documents economic and social reform programs in Egypt.

The value of the fourth agreement is KWD 100,000 as a grant to support the feasibility study of the date palm cultivation and date processing project in Egypt.

The fifth agreement came as a modification of a control and signal system project on the Banha – Zagazig – Ismailia and Port Said railway line, to use the surplus of the Kuwaiti fund, which amounts to KWD 7 million to support the transport system and finance 100 new tractors for the Egyptian Railway Authority.

The Kuwait Fund and the Arab Fund for Development financed the control and signal system of the Banha – Zagazig – Ismailia and Port Said railway line stretching on 213 kilometers with $160 million.
 
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