The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development is looking forward to financing more projects in Egypt, Abdelatif Al-Hamad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the fund, told a group of journalists in Kuwait.
The fund disbursed around 450 million Kuwaiti Dinars (KD), approximately $1.5 billion, worth of funding to six Arab countries last year. A similar amount is expected for this year, Al-Hamad said on the sidelines of the 25th annual conference of the Economic Research Fund.
The fund’s total financing to date is 10 billion KD, around $35 billion.
The latest projects financed by the fund in Egypt include a loan agreement for 70 Million KD signed in the summer of 2018 to help finance the establishment of a water system for the Bahr El-Bakar Drain.
The project falls within the framework of a programme to develop the Sinai Peninsula, increasing agricultural production and connecting the peninsula with the mainland, and improving services for citizens.
This will be accomplished through the transport and treatment of wastewater from Bahr El-Bakar Drain in order to provide around 5 million cubic metres per day of water suitable for agricultural use in order to irrigate around 330,000 acres. Al-Hamad said he hopes the fund will participate in future phases of this project.
Another recent project financed by the fund is the construction of a 50 Megawatt Photovoltaic Power Station in Kom Ombo, Upper Egypt.
According to Al-Hamad, the fund is open to supporting any project that falls within the framework of the government’s priorities for development.
Among the projects supported by the fund are efforts in the water and sewerage sector, transport and telecommunications, agricultural and rural development, social services, and energy and electricity sectors around various part of the Arab world. Al-Hamad stressed that the fund does not finance government budgets, but instead focuses on government or private sector projects.
Since its establishment, the fund has funded some 1.3 billion KD worth of projects in Egypt alone, approximately $4.5 billion. Egypt’s track record in repaying these loans have been optimal, said Al-Hamad.
The fund provides up to 30-year soft loans with five to seven-year grace periods at an interest rate of 2.5 percent for middle-income countries and two percent for low-income countries.