CAIRO, Sept 15, 2012 (AFP) -
CAIRO, Sept 15, 2012 (AFP) –
Egypt said on Saturday it is to receive $2 billion in aid from Turkey to support its economy which has been beset by serious difficulties since the 2011 uprising that ousted former strongman Hosni Mubarak.
Ankara will offer “an aid package to Egypt worth $2 billion to be used to support foreign reserves in Egypt and fund infrastructure projects,” the official MENA news agency quoted Finance Minister Mumtaz al-Said as saying.
This will “strengthen the Egyptian economy and help to regain stability and growth,” he said. The aid agreement was finalised during a visit by a high-level Egyptian delegation to Istanbul, MENA said.
Political instability since the ouster of Mubarak has triggered serious difficulties for Egypt’s major revenue earner tourism, led to a drop in foreign investments, worsened the budget deficit and sparked social conflict.
The central bank’s currency reserves have dipped to $15 billion from $36 a year and half ago, threatening the country’s ability to import commodities and support the Egyptian pound.
Cairo has requested a loan of $4.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund, but the IMF has stressed the need for a reform programme to deal with the country’s economic crisis.
Qatar recently announced it would invest $18 billion over five years in Egypt to shore up its economy, including financial support of $2 billion as a deposit with the Central Bank of Egypt.