A Saudi flag flutters atop Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 4, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal
CAIRO – 28 June 2020: The Board of Directors of the Saudi Arabia Grant Committee agreed to finance five new projects in Egypt. The Saudi Arabia grant comes with a total value of $200 million, to contribute to financing small, medium and micro projects in Egypt.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat said in a statement on June 28 that three projects of the Egyptian Agricultural Bank and two projects in the field of health care, and value chain support were approved for funding.
Mashat added that the Egyptian Agricultural Bank will obtain LE 100 million to finance three projects in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture for support food security and small farmers, namely a project to develop rural villages, a project for a value chain financing program, and a program for financing dairy products and dairy laboratories.
She clarified that the three projects aim to provide financing for all small and micro projects in rural villages, targeting projects carried out by rural women and all handicrafts and activities aimed at achieving rural development.
The minister explained that other projects include a project to support the health care sector carried out by the Contact Leasing Company with a value of LE 50 million, and another project to support value chains and provide logistic support for small and medium projects through financing for UE Finance at a value of LE 50 million.
Mashat pointed out that the projects will be implemented in all parts of the country, with a focus on Upper Egypt's governorates and other governorates outside Greater Cairo and Alexandria.
Furthermore, Minister Mashat stressed that the world celebrates these days the International Day for Small and Medium Enterprises, pointing out that Egypt attaches special importance to this type of projects and the government launched several initiatives and numerous programs to support this sector in cooperation with Egypt's international partners. This is due to the sector's great role in driving economic growth, creating job opportunities and encouraging innovation.
She also praised the Egyptian-Saudi cooperation in supporting small and medium projects, which was shown largely through the $200 million grant, pointing out that the management of the grant committee decided to maximize the benefit from it with the aim of diversifying the base of final beneficiaries through cooperation with new partners. The minister discussed a number of funding programs that have been presented. It has a number of intermediate financing entities that wish to take advantage of the grant funds and direct them to support the MSME sector in order to serve the development purpose of the grant funds.
Mashat highlighted that the Egyptian and Saudi members of the committee discussed the developments of the economic situation in Egypt and the Egyptian government initiatives and directions to support the various sectors in facing the coronavirus pandemic. She further noted that the committee took a number of decisions to support the efforts and initiatives of the Central Bank and the Financial Supervision Authority to reduce the burdens on existing partners of intermediate financial institutions and final beneficiaries in light of the negative economic effects of the coronavirus, by granting more concessions in terms of financing final beneficiaries according to the size of the project.
The minister stated that any future project with the Saudi Grant Committee will be implemented within the framework of the new strategy of the Ministry of International Cooperation, which focuses on three main axes: the citizen is the focus of attention, ongoing projects, and the goal is the driving force, in order to achieve sustainable development, which is a priority across all sectors.
The Saudi Arabian Grant Management Committee, chaired by Ghadeer Hegazy, assisted the minister on the Egyptian side, and Hassan Al-Attas on the Saudi side. The grant funded 2,176 projects so far in 27 governorates, which contributed to creati