The United Arab Emirates pledged USD 4 billion to Egypt to help boost the country’s economy, the Emirates’ state news agency WAM reported on Friday.
The report did not clarify whether the pledge referred to a previous offer from the UAE to give Egypt the same amount, which was announced at Egypt’s Economic Development Conference, held in Sharm El Sheikh last year.
Emirati Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan had arrived in Cairo on Thursday for a brief visit, during which he and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi toured several projects related to the “new capital city,” a mega-project estimated to cost USD 45 billion.
The deposit in Egypt’s Central Bank is aiming to support the country’s foreign reserves, which have been depleted since the 2011 uprising the toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.
Egypt’s foreign reserves reached USD 16.5 billion, down from nearly USD 36 billion prior to the 2011 revolution.
Meanwhile, the black market price for the US dollar has skyrocketed, with traders selling each dollar for EGP 11.35, as opposed to the official rate of EGP 8.78.
Current Central Bank Governor Tarek Amer has attempted to narrow the gap between the official and black market rates since taking over from former governor Hisham Ramez in November of last year.
Last month, Amer decided to devalue the pound by 14.5 percent against the dollar. However, the decision only curbed unregulated trading for a short period of time, after which the black market rates continued to rise steadily.
Despite the economic difficulties, Amer has maintained that the Central Bank has no intention of further devaluing the country’s currency.