CAIRO: The European Union has granted Egypt €609 million to be spent between 2009 and 2013, with most of the money to be spent on economic and social development projects, the government said on Monday.
Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif said at the signing ceremony in Cairo that an Egyptian-European partnership agreement, which came into force in 2004, had led to a surge in investment and trade with the EU.
Of the total grant, €449 million will go to help boost Egypt’s economic and social development, while a further €110 million euros will support the country’s health sector; €10 million for rural development; €20 million in support for government institutions and €20 million for a wind farm project.
Smaller amounts will be used to help alleviate poverty and improving electricity supply.
The grant agreements were signed by Egypt’s ministers of international cooperation, health, agriculture and electricity with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fuele.
The agreements included a memorandum of understanding "on the national indicative program (2011-2013) amounting to €449 million, aiming to support the Egyptian reform plans within the economic and social development programs," a cabinet statement said.
Egypt has said it aims to reduce the poverty rate to 15 percent of the population from 20 percent within five years. It is also seeking to boost electricity output after shortages led to blackouts in parts of the country during the summer.
The statement said the European Union has granted Egypt €2.26 billion since 1995.