Donations for the Tahya Masr (Long Live Egypt) Fund are yet to exceed EGP 5bn, businessman Salah Diab, a member of the board of directors, told Daily News Egypt Monday.
Diab said that the board of directors, headed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, are still reviewing how the fund will be used. He added that the period of collecting donations is open ]has no limit] in order to lure businessmen.
Following Al-Sisi’s inauguration in June, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Governor Hisham Ramez announced the opening of the fund, whose name is based on the slogan of Al-Sisi’s presidential campaign. The fund’s bank account, “037037”, refers to the day on which Al-Sisi declared the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.
Two weeks after the fund’s launch, the CBE has disclosed that the collected value has reached EGP 400m.
President Al-Sisi has repeatedly called on citizens, including businessmen, to donate to the fund to stimulate the economy and meet Egypt’s need for funds. He hoped that the fund could collect EGP 100bn in order to implement much needed projects.
According to Diab, the fund is open to accept donations from everyone, including Hosni Mubarak-era businessmen.
Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby revealed in a Monday statement that employees from state-owned National Investment Bank (NIB) have donated EGP 1m to the fund. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb also pointed out on Sunday that workers of leading construction company Arab Contractors have donated EGP 6m to Tahya Masr.
Donations from banks operating in the Egyptian market reached approximately EGP 160m in July, including Banque Misr, Banque du Caire and National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the Commercial International Bank (CIB), Arab African International Bank, the United Bank, Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt, SAIB, Egyptian Gulf Bank and Arab International Bank (AIB).
Several businessmen, companies and institutions have also donated to the fund. These include Morshedy Group’s owner Mohamed Al-Morshedy, Ceramica Cleopatra’s Mohamed Abo Al-Einen, Madinet Nasr Housing and Development Company (MNHD), and Cairo University.
In a controversial move to force donations, a campaign was launched in early August to track businessmen who did not contribute finances to the fund. The aim was to influence public opinion and prompt citizens to boycott these companies and products.
However, the Egyptian Embassy in the United States has also announced to begin measures to establish the Tahya Masr in the US following Mehleb’s visit to Washington.
On 13 July, the Field Marshall decided to merge the bank account with the 306306 Support Egypt Fund. Launched in July 2013 following Morsi’s ouster, the account was set up to receive donations to stimulate the economy.
The 306306 fund has placed EGP 850m from its collected value of EGP 1bn to Tahya Masr, the fund said in July. It added that the fund has spent the other EGP 150m on development projects.