Egyptian Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr held talks on Sunday with a World Bank mission in charge of following up on a comprehensive program for Sinai development by means of accelerating procedures for the bank to extend $1 billion in support of the project.
In a statement on Sunday, Nasr highlighted the importance of the World Bank's allocation of several grants for developing Sinai, as the political leadership has given top priority to this project.
“The project will secure thousands of jobs and contribute to the development of eastern Suez Canal in order to have a road network linking the Sinai Peninsula to various governorates nationwide,” the minister said.
Nasr noted that the Saudi Fund for Development, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development contributed a combined $2.5 billion to the project, adding that Arab funds would continue supporting the project in the upcoming years.
The World Bank mission hailed the economic and social reform program carried out by the Egyptian government, especially regarding the issuance of a number of laws for improving the investment climate.
The talks also tackled means of backing the private sector, as well as small and medium sized enterprises in Sinai.
The Egyptian state’s project to develop Sinai should be completed by 2022 at a cost of EGP 275 billion ($15.6 billion), presidential aide Ibrahim Mahlab said in April.
The World Bank announced in 2015 a $500 million project to “improve access to homeownership and rental units for low-income households in Egypt” under the SHF, which the bank said would reach 3.6 million people, including an estimated 1.6 million beneficiaries living below the poverty line over a five year period, the life of the programme.