Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi approved Wednesday the allocation of 4.4 billion Egyptian pounds ( about 628.9 million U.S. dollars) for the development of Sinai Peninsula, said presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmi.
"President Morsi asked the cabinet to take necessary measures to implement development plans in Sinai and meet needs and demands of Sinai people," Fahmi said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Hesham Qandil and other ministers.
The statement came following a mini-cabinet meeting earlier Wednesday chaired by Morsi and attended by Qandil, governors of North and South Sinai and the head of the National Authority for Sinai Development to discuss an emergency plan for the development of the Peninsula.
For his part, Qandil said "Only 56 percent of the investment projects designated for Sinai was implemented despite the establishment of the Sinai development authority," the prime minister said.
Qandil noted the government would work with a national military service authority to carry out the remaining projects within nine months, adding that the country pumped over 2.8 million dollars into Sinai to provide job opportunities.
Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Amr Darrag said the government assigned the Armed Forces with housing, agricultural reclamation and sanitation projects of over 357 million dollars in Sinai.
Investment Minister Yahya Hamed said the government will establish an industrial zone in South Sinai's Tor city that is expected to create about 20,000 job opportunities.
Sinai has witnessed a series of terrorist activities including kidnapping, bombing and attacks on police stations and army checkpoints since the 2011 upheaval that ousted ex-president Hosni Mubarak.