Government earmarks LE1 bn for Sinai development

The Cabinet has allocated an LE1 billion budget to the Sinai Development Authority (SDA), said authority head General Shawky Rashwan on Thursday.

The US has granted the authority US$50 million to help start development work in the area, and the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has earmarked LE24 million to fund the SDA’s urgent needs, Raswhan continued.

The SDA’s executive charter has been drafted and the Cabinet should endorse it in a meeting next week, Rashwan said following a Sinai development committee meeting headed by Prime Minister Hesham Qandil today.

Rashwan added that he has met with Defense Minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to discuss how to purge Sinai of terrorist strongholds and kick start development projects in the region. Sisi endorsed setting aside LE250 million to fund the presence and work of the Armed Forces to secure the area.

This Red Sea peninsula east of Egypt was ignored under the rule of ousted President Mubarak, in spite of calls to give more importance to that part of the country. Terrorist groups have increased their footprint in the area since the January 2011 revolution.

The SDA was formed last June according to a ministerial decree. Rashwan was named its head in July. 

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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