Egypt raises Sinai investment by 75% in 2019-2020

Egypt's Planning Ministry announced on Thursday (August 22nd) it would raise its investments in the Sinai peninsula for fiscal year 2019-2010 by 75%, local media reported.

Planning Minister Hala al-Saeed said Egypt will invest 5.23 billion Egyptian pounds ($315 million) in Sinai in 2019-2020, in a venture officials say is intended to stabilise a region hit by violence from armed extremist groups.

Last fiscal year, the ministry had directed 2.986 billion pounds ($180 million) in investments to Sinai.

Egypt has been waging a war concentrated in the peninsula’s north against the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

The government hopes investing in the region will help curb extremism and bring stability by reducing higher-than-average unemployment rates.

North Sinai will receive 2.85 billion pounds ($172 million) of the investments, while South Sinai will get 2.38 billion pounds ($143 million), al-Saeed said in a statement.

"The investments in North Sinai are in education, water, agriculture, irrigation, transport, storage, real estate activities and construction projects," she said.

South Sinai investments will be "in the agriculture, irrigation, transport, education and other services sectors", she added.

An aide to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said last year that the Sinai development plan is expected to cost 275 billion Egyptian pounds ($16.5 billion) and be completed by 2022, calling it "a project for national security".

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