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UAE offers $3 billion aid package to Egypt

Emirates marks Egyptian Prime Minister's visit with offers of a business development fund, infrastructure projects and soft loans

Ahram Online, Tuesday 5 Jul 2011
UAE President
UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan (Photo: AFP)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Monday a US$3 billion aid package to Egypt, according to the state news agency WAM.

The announcement was made by Deputy UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahayan during a meeting with Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf in Abu Dhabi, his first visit to the Emirates since the uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February.

Half of this sum will be offered by the Khalifa bin Zayed Fund, which will support small and medium-sized business projects in Egypt with the value of $1.5 billion, with the aim of creating job opportunities for Egyptian youth, WAM reported.

Sheikh Khalifa also ordered the allocation of $750 million for infrastructure and housing projects for youth and an additional $750 million in soft loans for various projects.

Finance Minister Samir Radwan, also on a visit to Abu Dhabi, said on Monday that Egypt plans to fund its LE134 billion ($22.47 billion) budget deficit through a combination of local market issuance and with aid from Arab states.

Egypt had sealed a $3 billion financial package from the International Monetary Fund on 5 June to shore up its finances after protests that ended Mubarak's 30-year rule scared away tourists and investors, two of its main sources of foreign exchange.

After securing the package, Radwan said the country would not need to borrow after all from the IMF or the World Bank, which had also offered a large lending package, asserting that the shortfall could now be covered locally and from foreign aid.

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