72% of Gulf’s ODA goes to Egypt: World Bank

CAIRO: Some 72 percent of the official development assistance from Gulf countries goes to Egypt, according to the World Bank’s January 2016 Global Economic Prospects.

“ODA from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE represents more than 18 percent of total aid to the region, ranging from 4 percent of total ODA for Morocco to 72 percent of total ODA for Egypt. Historically, GCC aid to other MENA countries has varied with oil revenues,” the report said, without revealing the total amount of development aid to the region.

Egyptian government is trying to overcome the dollar crisis its currency faces in Fiscal Year 2015/2016 due to the decline of Egyptian expatriates’ remittances, decrease of Suez Canal and tourism revenues amid a slowdown of foreign direct investment flow since 2011.

Due to Gulf aid, a hard currency crisis saw an ease in FY2015/2016, pushing Cairo to negotiate on a total of $4.5 billion in loans from the World Bank ($3 billion) and African Development Bank ($1.5 billion.)

In April 2015, Egypt received $6 billion in deposits as part of Gulf aid pledged during the economic summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh in previous month. The oil-rich countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, promised a total of $12.5 billion in aid and investments.

Additional reporting by Yasmine Samra.

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