Mr Al Suwaidi (L) and Shaikh Ahmed.
Image: Courtesy, BNA
UAE grants Bahrain $2.5bn for development
Manama, February 18, 2013
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will grant Bahrain $2.5 billion to help fund development projects in the kingdom, state-owned Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Monday.
The money, to be disbursed on an annual basis over the next 10 years ($250 million every year), would finance projects in housing, electricity, water, infrastructure and social services, the BNA said.
The grant is within the framework of the Gulf Development Programme which was previously endorsed by the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it said.
In March 2011, after an unrest in Bahrain and protests demanding jobs and clean government in Oman, wealthier Gulf neighbours pledged $10 billion each to those countries over 10 years to ease tensions and support economic development of the two small non-Opec oil exporters.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Bahrain's Minister of Finance, and Mohammed S Al Suwaidi, acting director of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.
The minister expressed gratitude for the support extended to the development process in Bahrain by the UAE and commended the Gulf Development Programme as a clear demonstration of the economic progress of the GCC and the strong bonds between its member states and peoples.
He stated that the projects financed by the grant would be identified by the Bahrain Government and the Abu Dhabi Fund and would represent a boost to the national economy and to the overall development efforts in the kingdom.
Al Suwaidi stressed that the grant reflected the keenness of his country to support Bahrain in all fields and would provide financing to vital projects in the kingdom. - Reuters and TradeArabia News Service