In his speech before parliament on February 26, Prime Minister Ganzouri said that donor countries had failed to respect their commitments to send financial aid to Egypt. Upon hearing this, my first reaction was to write in Al Akhbar a reproach to the EU and Arab countries for failing to honor their pledges to support Egypt’s ailing economy.
Consequently, a friend from Saudi Arabia, who is close to Prince Saud El Faisal, told me to read the prince’s response to Dr. Ganzouri’s remarks. I saw that Dr. Ganzouri had not told us the whole story. According to the prince, Saudi Arabia was planning to honor their pledge of $3.75 billion in aid and that Riyadh had transferred $500 million of this commitment to Cairo’s Central Bank on May 16, 2011, shortly after the aid was promised. The rest of the aid was contingent upon Egypt agreeing to spend the money on projects to be specified.
We know that Egypt is in urgent need of cash to support the government’s budget and that development projects are not the immediate priority. However, Dr. Ganzouri should have explained in detail what aid has been provided and what is expected in the future. Then he could have expressed his hope that the remaining aid will come without the restriction that it be used solely for development projects.
translated from Al-Akhbar