US aid will boost Egyptian economy and beat current crisis: official

Ahram Online, Monday 23 May 2011

$2 billion in debt-swaps and loan guarantees will cushion impact of current events, says finance ministry

“The US program of economic aid to Egypt recently announced by President Barack Obama will strengthen the Egyptian economy and its ability to overcome the impact of current events and their negative effects on the state budget,” said Mahmoud Hussein, head of the finance sector at the Ministry of Finance, in an official statement released Monday morning.

“The US aid move is timely and important for Egyptians as the Ministry of Finance is about to finalise the latest budget of Egypt,” Hussein added.

He said that the ministry is co-operating with the US in swapping a billion dollars of the debt Egypt owes to the US, directing this money into a number of development projects in the country.

During his speech on 19 May, Obama announced the US would relieve up to US$1 billion of Egypt's loan repayments in a debt-swap deal, prompting concerns from economic commentators that assistance would mean stringent conditions on its investment.

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