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Egypt urges G8 to help unlock promised aid

Dec 27 2011 14:24 Reuters

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Cairo - Egypt's prime minister appealed to Group of Eight countries on Monday to help unlock billions of dollars in aid promised in September but not yet delivered under an initiative to support countries of the Arab spring.

Army-backed Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri, who was appointed in November, met ambassadors of G8 countries to tell them Egypt needed financial support immediately, Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said.

Under the so-called Deauville partnership, G8 countries agreed to supply economic and political aid quickly to several Arab governments in return for commitments they would pursue democratic reforms.

The partnership, which also includes Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and international organisations such the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has so far pledged about $80bn in financing to Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco and Jordan over the next two years.

"The prime minister met with the ambassadors of the G8 countries to discuss Egypt's urgent economic needs and what these countries can give Egypt within the framework of the Deauville partnership," Amr told reporters after the meeting.

"The prime minister shared with the ambassadors the government's plan to ensure security and stability on the streets," he added.

Ganzouri said last week that apart from $1bn sent by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Egypt had received little of the promised aid.

Egypt has lost billions of dollars in revenue from tourism and investors, who were frightened away by the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak in February.

The financing under the Deauville partnership is mostly in the form of loans rather than outright grants, and is provided half by G8 and Arab countries and half by various lenders and development banks.

In June, Egypt negotiated a $3bn financial package from the IMF in June, only for its ruling military council to reject it a few weeks later.

g8  |  egypt  |  arab spring
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