Egypt receives first tranche of Saudi Arabia’s Sinai loan

Egypt has received Sunday the first tranche worth $300 million of Saudi Arabia’s Sinai development loan, Egyptian international cooperation minister announced.

Minister Sahar Nasr told Amwal Al Ghad on Monday that Egypt received so far total finances from Saudi Arabia of $500 million, involving $200 million grant for small and medium-sized industries and $300 million for projects in Sinai.

The first tranche accounts for around 30 percent of the Saudi Fund for Development’s finances for the development of the peninsula of Sinai, Nasr added.

The agreement, titled King Salman’s programme for the development of the peninsula of Sinai, was signed by government officials from the two countries in Riyadh in March. The agreement was aimed at giving Egypt a $1.5 billion soft loan to help it develop Sinai and buy Saudi oil products needed for development purposes.

As much as half-a-billion dollars from the total loan amount will be allocated to developing Sinai in the form of building King Salman’s University in Al-Tor city, funding a series of agricultural and irrigation projects, and upgrading North Sinai’s network of roads. The remaining amount ($1 billion) will be earmarked for buying Saudi oil products, which “Egypt needs for development purposes.