The United Arab Emirates has signed a $ 4.9 billion framework agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt to support its development program and aimed at improving the living conditions, lives and human development of the Egyptian people through a number of projects.
The support includes a grant of one billion dollars which has been transferred to Egypt last July, and an additional allocation of more than one billion dollars to help provide Egypt with part of its fuel requirements; ensuring the nation is able to maintain its economy, industry, trade and transportation during this transitional phase. The agreement also aims at highlighting the UAE's commitment to supporting Egypt in overcoming its current challenges and helping it resume its pivotal role in the regional and international arenas.
Held at the Emirates Palace, the signing of the framework agreement took place in the presence of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Dr Hazem Al Beblawi, Prime Minister of Egypt.
The initiative, signed on behalf of the UAE by Minister of State, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and on behalf of Egypt by Dr. Ziad Ahmed Bahaduddine, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of International Cooperation, will promote social stability through the implementation of projects in various sectors including energy, health care, education, food, housing and transportation.
Addressing food security, contributing to crop protection and reducing crop damage, the agreement includes funding the construction of 25 wheat and grain storing silos with a capacity of 15 thousand tons per silo. Meanwhile, addressing healthcare access concerns, the projects will include the construction of 79 basic healthcare units (focusing on family medicine) as well as the establishment of two vaccine production lines that will provide Egypt with 80% of its vaccination needs.
Moreover, with an aim of providing the Egyptian people with adequate basic housing and services, the agreement includes the provision of 50,000 housing units; 13,000 of which are already under construction at the ?6 October' City.' As part of the housing package, the UAE will implement renewable energy projects at designated villages that have no access to the electric grid in order to revitalize rural areas and provide remote villages with basic services.
Also included in the housing package is the completion of sewage networks in remote villages in order to reduce the spreading of infectious diseases and secure a healthy living environment for residents.
Addressing the challenge of illiteracy, contributing to the development of a promising generation, and in order to reduce the rising classroom congestion, the project will include the development of 100 schools spread out over various regions of the Republic of Egypt. The schools will address both general and vocational training.
In terms of public safety and transportation, the agreement includes the placement of 479 railroad barriers to improve levels of public safety and reduce the frequency of accidents. It will also include support to the projects of Al Azhar University and the Orthodox Church of Egypt. In addition, the agreement includes the provision of 600 busses that will contribute to mitigating public transport challenges.
On this occasion, Dr. Hazem El-Beblawi, Prime Minister of Egypt, said : "On behalf of the Egyptian people, I would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the UAE leadership, government and its people. The special and brotherly relationship between our two nations dates back to over 4 decades and has continued to flourish and heed benefits for both nations throughout the years. I would like to emphasize that the signing of this agreement is a simple formalization of the most recent joint cooperation that has been taking place between our two countries. The work on the majority of these projects has already begun through joint committees and stakeholders and we will continue to announce their progress in the coming period. The launch of several of these projects prior to the formalization of the agreement is further proof of the long standing and historic brotherly ties that bind our nations. I would like to emphasize that with the support of our brethren, the Egyptian government will persevere in its pursuit of providing the people of Egypt with their necessary need." On his part, Dr. Ziad Ahmad Bahauddine, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation, said : " Over the past two months, we have exerted every effort into making this partnerships with our brethren in the UAE as successful as possible. These efforts have placed a focus on an identified list of projects that will effectively benefit the largest segment of people in Egypt in the shortest time span possible. I would like to take this opportunity to commend the professionalism in which the UAE side has conducted this exercise. I would also like thank the UAE for standing alongside us as we continue our pursuit of improving our services and implementing important projects in the various regions of Egypt." On his part, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State, said: "Based on the directives of the wise leadership of the United Arab Emirates, with an aim towards ensuring the sustainable development and economic revival for the Egyptian people, we have been studying the various means of support that would achieve immediate results. The relationship between our two brotherly nations is one that has been rooted by our late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who over forty years ago laid the pillars of cooperation between our two countries. This relationship of trust, transparency, affection and mutual respect, continues to guide us today." He added : "The signing of this framework agreement aims to provide Egypt with the crucial support required to achieve security, stability and confidence at this transitional phase. Our leadership believes, without waver, that Egypt must resume and reclaim its central role in the Arab world." He explained: "Throughout these recent months, we have been working on two parallel tracks; one important track included identifying sustainable projects that will provide the Egyptians with long term benefits; while the other equally important track includes a thorough and strategic study on the economic revival of Egypt." "I would like to thank all the stakeholders of this joint endeavor; from both the UAE and Egyptian side for their enthusiasm, the urgency with which they conducted the work and for achieving so much, so quickly." A range of projects have been launched in Egypt over the last month including the finalization of the Manshiyat Nasser refurbishment project, which was comprised of approximately 8,000 residential units with all the necessary facilities and buildings service; a medical center, three mosques with a capacity of 300 people, a mosque of 800 person capacity as well as an event hall, three nurseries, a post office, 78 shops, a 10 market shopping district, a mall, a fully equipped 55 classroom school and more.
The project also includes a number of infrastructure sewage management, electricity and water plant elements. The final launch at the Manshiyat Nasser, the Sheikh Zayed Hospital, took place earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the 13,000 housing units that are currently being constructed as part of the larger 50 thousand housing unit project at ?6 October City' will accommodate approximately 80,000 persons; contributing to the rising housing crisis in Egypt.
The project has also contributed to job creation; whereby, the project employees approximately 10,000 employees, excluding raw material suppliers. It is approximated that the total number of families to benefit from the project will be at over 120,000 people.
In addition to the projects included in this Agreement, the UAE has provided a $2 billion deposit last July to the Central bank of Egypt as part of the on-going strong relations between the two brotherly countries.
Present were H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor, Foreign Minister H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sherif Ismail, Minister of Investment Osama Saleh, Governor of Egypt's Central Bank Hisham Ramez, a number of senior officials, as well as Mohamed Nakhira Al Dhaheri, UAE Ambassador to Egypt, Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Under Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court and Ihab Hamouda, Ambassador Designate of Egypt.