Govt scheme aims to increase Sinai population through land reclamation

The government has slated 80,000 feddans of land near Al Salam Canal in Sinai for auction, to be exclusively bid on by Sinai residents.

Prime Minister Hesham Qandil announced the plan on Monday as part of government efforts to increase Sinai’s population to 3 million within five years. Official sources at the Ministry of Agriculture said that the government also intends to expand agricultural and tourism projects in the area, and initiate the cultivation of 400,000 feddans that have been unused since work on the Al Salam Canal project was halted in 2006 under former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

The Cabinet stipulates that in order to acquire land in Sinai, applicants must provide documents from the Interior Ministry and a civil registry proving both they and their parents hold only Egyptian nationality.

Sources said the ministry is also taking steps to legalize certain squatter settlements in Sinai in order to increase the scale of land reclamation.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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