UAE offers $3bn worth of aid to Egypt

HH Sheikh Khalifa orders setting up of $1.5bn fund dedicated to Egypt's small and medium-sized enterprises
UAE offers $3bn worth of aid to Egypt
UAE president HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Getty Images)
By Neeraj Gangal
Tue 05 Jul 2011 11:14 AM

UAE has offered an aid package worth $3bn to Egypt , according state news agency WAM reported on Monday.

The country's president HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, ordered the setting up of a $1.5bn fund dedicated to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The Khalifa Bin Zayed Fund for SMEs aims to provide "business and job opportunities to a broad range of Egyptian youth," Wam said.

Sheikh Khalifa also directed allocation of $750m as a grant to develop housing and infrastructure projects for the schemes to be created under the fund.

According to Wam, another $750m will be set aside as concessionary loans for different projects in Egypt.

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

The North African country plans to fund its 134bn Egyptian pound ($22.5bn) budget deficit through a combination of local market issuance and with aid from Arab states, according to a Reuters report on Monday.

"Egypt can go at least a year without World Bank or IMF (support) but only with the help of Arab countries," finance minister Samir Radwan told reporters.

"We plan to cover 120 billion pounds from the local market, and 14 billion pounds of the deficit we are looking for from Arab countries," he said without giving further details.

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