UAE support ‘improved lives of 10m Egyptians’

The UAE’s development and infrastructure programmes in education, health care and housing created 900,000 jobs in Egypt.

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ABU DHABI // The UAE’s development and infrastructure programmes in education, health care and housing created 900,000 jobs in Egypt, and aimed to promote stability in the country to ensure enduring peace across the region and world.

In an interview with Egyptian daily Al Masry Al Youm, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and head of the UAE-Egypt Liaison Office, said the economic recovery plan also covered food security, energy and transportation, according to Wam, the state news agency. The projects had improved the lives of 10 million Egyptians.

Dr Al Jaber said the UAE’s support was “firmly rooted in the conviction that Egypt’s stability and prosperity is stability and prosperity for the region and the world”.

“It is also a reflection of the very close relationship between the two countries that was set over 40 years ago, by our Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, and has been further enhanced by our leadership.”

Health clinics, schools and transport projects were vital sectors that the UAE-Egypt Liaison Office focused on. Building 78 family-health clinics in rural areas, providing for the country’s insulin requirements, constructing 100 schools and more than 50,000 housing units were among projects undertaken.

The provision of about 600 buses for public transport, the building of four bridges, a 10-megawatt solar power plant in Siwa, and development of 136 wastewater plants, as well as a vocational training and placement programme were all part of the plan.

“We have provided the Egyptian government with 100,000 cattle, 50,000 of which will be used for dairy production,” Dr Al Jaber said during comments about food-security measures. “We are also constructing 25 wheat and grain silos.”

There are more than 600 UAE companies in Egypt. The involvement of a UAE firm, the National Marine Dredging Company, in the Suez Canal project, and the opening of the new canal would boost economic activity and ensure growth, he said.

The UAE helped to mobilise economic and political support for Egypt through platforms such as the Egypt Economic Development Conference in March in Sharm el-Sheikh, and the Egyptian Gulf Investment Forum two years ago.

Egypt secured US$20 billion (Dh73.4bn) at the conference, of which Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE contributed $12bn, he said.

Reiterating the country’s stand on terror attacks in Egypt, Dr Al Jaber said: “We condemn any attempt to destabilise the security and stability of Egypt. The UAE leadership has confirmed its solidarity with the Egyptian government, and will stand by its side in the face of extremism and terrorism.

“We in the UAE have great confidence in Egypt’s ability to overcome challenges and continue to build a bright future for its children.”

He cited the UAE’s recently issued anti-discrimination and anti-extremism law. “It is no longer enough to think of this war in military terms,” he said.

“There is a stronger, more resolute ideological war that feeds the terrorist narrative indirectly through promoting toxic, hateful and exclusive ideologies. This law is a clear demonstration of the UAE’s rejection of the culture of hate and destruction in favour of a culture of forgiveness, peace, collaboration and positive energy.”