Qatar said on Tuesday it will increase its financial aid to Egypt by $2.5 billion to a total of $5 billion, comprising an outright grant of $1 billion and $4 billion in bank deposits. The financial lifeline comes as Egypt battles a currency crisis and seeks an IMF cash injection into its teetering economy of an almost equivalent amount. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim told a Cairo press conference that the gas-rich emirate had doubled its previously announced aid, which comprised $500 million as a grant and $2 billion in bank deposits. The press conference came shortly after a government statement said it had “fruitful” discussions with a visiting IMF delegation.
An IMF team is expected within weeks for further talks after a delegation headed by the monetary fund’s Middle East director Ahmed Massood met with President Mohamed Morsi and other Egyptian officials on Monday.
The IMF, which was reported to have pledged $4.8 billion, “remained committed to supporting Egypt in confronting its economic challenges,” said a statement by Prime Minister Hisham Qandil on Tuesday.