Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat has confirmed that Arab financial institutions led by Saudi Arabia have provided $9 billion for the advancement of Sinai, noting that the Kuwait Fund supports technical studies of the railway link project between Egypt and Sudan through a grant of $2.5 million.
Al-Mashat revealed that efforts are underway to put in place a future strategy with the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
“Arab financial institutions play a strong role in supporting economic and social development programs in member states, and Egypt is a major contributor to Arab financial institutions and bodies, and we have implemented many model development projects with these institutions, on top of which is the Sinai Peninsula Development Program,” al-Mashat told Asharq Al-Awsat on the sidelines of a recent meeting in Jeddah.
Moreover, al-Mashat drew attention to the results of discussions she recently held with OFID officials, especially considering joint efforts to back efforts to transition to a green economy.
These consultations resulted in several projects such as the 650-megawatts Assiut Power Plant project, which is financed by OFID with a whopping $35 million.
OFID is also supporting the second phase of developing and rehabilitating irrigation stations to reduce water losses. It is pumping $53.2 million into the project.
Al-Mashat added that the project to develop small, medium, and micro enterprises to enhance efforts to create job opportunities, at a value of $95 million, also comes as part of the efforts to transition to a green economy as well.
Other than being a part of transitioning into a green economy, the project also comes as part of the efforts to place a future strategy with OFID to maximize development cooperation efforts, support national priorities, especially with regard to climate action efforts, and stimulate the participation of the private sector in development.
Al-Mashat stressed that Arab financing support enhances the achievement of sustainable development goals in the Arab world, stimulates joint Arab economic action and confronts urgent challenges facing development effort.
She noted that her country has been associated with effective development cooperation and strategic partnerships with Arab financial institutions.
This association crystallized through the financing of many priority development projects in many vital sectors such as electricity and energy, transportation, health, housing, desalination and treatment plants, higher education, scientific research, and agriculture.
Al-Mashat reaffirmed that partnerships between Arab funds and her country are still existing and continuing despite the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
She noted that the partnerships continued as a success story between the Egyptian government and Arab financial institutions thanks to the flexible policies and proactive plans they prepared to deal with the crisis.
Al-Mashat added that Egypt is one of the Arab countries that contributes the most to the capital of Arab financial institutions and bodies.
According to the minister, Egypt contributes to the capital of the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, which amounts to $599 million.
The Northeast African country also contributes to the capital of the special account to finance small and medium private sector projects in Arab countries with a value of $20 million, and the Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation, with a value of $6.2 million.