During his visit, Dr. Ali also discussed ways and means for promoting further cooperation between Egypt and the IDB Group at his meetings with senior Egyptian officials including the Foreign Minister, HE Mohamed Kamel Amr; the Minister of Finance and IDB Governor for Egypt, HE Dr. Al-Morsy Al-Sayed Hegazy; as well as the Minister for Planning and International Cooperation, HE Dr. Ashraf Al Araby.
One of the major financing agreements signed in Cairo will be providing US$ 250 million to install three 650 MW steam power units in the South Helwan Power Plant to meet the rising electricity demand in the country. The project will help link the Egyptian power grid to those in Libya, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The agreement now puts the figure of IDB 's contribution to the project at US$ 450 million as, in July 2011, the Bank contributed US$ 200 million to the same project.
Under another agreement, the IDB will provide US$ 50 million for the development of the Small and Micro Enterprises to bring economic empowerment to the youth and families through investment financing thereby responding to the aspirations of the young people to enter the production network. The IDB will also provide a grant of US$ 320,000 for capacity building to Egypt's Social Fund for Development to alleviate the hardships borne by Egyptian workers and to support sustainable development projects. The financings come in the frame work of the US$ 250 million program launched by the Bank to assist member countries in the Arab region to support youth rehabilitation and employment.
Other project agreements signed during the visit included: US$ 32.3 million for financing the third phase of the national drainage program which will promote food security through increased production in irrigated areas; US$ 31 million financing to develop Al Azhar University Educational Hospital in Cairo which puts the Bank's contribution to the same project at US$ 40 million (including an earlier US$ 9 million financing); and US$ 25 million to finance the development of the educational and vocational training system for the young Egyptians to qualify them for job market requirements.
The visit of the IDB president to Egypt comes in the wake of an official invitation by Dr. Mohamed Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, to attend the opening ceremony for Al Azhar University's Center for Teaching Arabic Language to Non-Arabic Speakers. Ways to mobilize constant support to the center were brought up during the meeting between IDB Group President and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar.
Since its inception, IDB has been maintaining close cooperation with Egypt, the Bank's 7th major shareholder. To date, the IDB Group has contributed more than US$ 8 billion to various development projects in the country comprising US$ 1.5 billion for 66 projects, US$ 3.5 billion for trade through the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), nearly US$ 3.1 billion of investment and export credit insurance coverage through the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & Export Credit (ICIEC) as well as US$ 57.6 million to Egypt's private sector through the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD).
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