Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat visited Sinai, on Sunday, to follow up on the progress of developmental projects across the region.
The projects have been implemented and funded by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) as part of the Sinai Peninsula Development Program.
During her visit, Minister Al-Mashat stressed the significance of these projects in diversifying Sinai’s economy and creating stronger connections with the Bedouin communities. The projects have been implemented to ensure that these communities are the main actors in achieving broader and more robust growth.
The development programme also adopts a unified development strategy, by achieving the ministry’s global partnerships narrative of people, projects and purpose.
The project also aims to contribute to the development of 26 Bedouin communities, which will include a range of facilities to improve the standard of living.
The community development will include social housing, educational institutions, a health unit, a sports centre, a commercial complex, and 18 agricultural complexes. These will capitalise on the area’s Bedouin human potential, whilst also providing job opportunities for youth.
It will also contribute to providing the quality of life for Bedouin families, by improving community and social services, such as access to clean drinking water. Educational and social institutions will also be established to positively impact the lives of these communities.
Under the King Salman Program for the Development of the Sinai Peninsula, the SFD is financing a number of projects across several sectors. The first of these is worth $1.5bn, and will see the construction of 1,381 homes and community service facilities for the peninsula’s Bedouin community. The second, worth $113.3m, will see the development of 18 communities and 971 Bedouin homes and community service facilities.
The SFD is also providing the finance for a project to establish 13 agricultural complexes on a total area of 23 million sqm, of which 11 complexes will be located in North Sinai and two will be located in South Sinai.
The cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the SFD stands at $1.9m, which has been allocated to 12 projects. A total of $2.3m has been pumped into the 12 projects.
Through agreements signed with the AFESD, the fund will provide the finance for a clean water and irrigation project.
The $170m project, targeting around 15 of the 26 Bedouin communities included in the Sinai Peninsula Development Program, is set to develop the agricultural system in the Sinai Peninsula.
Additionally, the AFESD is financing the Bahr El-Baqar drainage system, with a grant worth a total of about $243 m. The system has a daily capacity of 5 million cbm, and can reclaim 230,000 feddans. It aims to preserve the environment by protecting water reserves, and reducing water loss for agricultural development
Since 1974, Egypt has been cooperating with various Arab funds on development projects, including the Kuwait Fund for Development, the SFD, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the Khalifa Fund for Project Development, and the AFESD.
During this period, the Ministry of International Cooperation has succeeded in coordinating efforts to serve all vital sectors in the country. Until 2020, it has secured financial agreements amounting to $12.5bn, including a current portfolio of $6.9bn.