UAE offers $2.5bn grant to Bahrain
2/18/2013 12:00:14 PM
WAM Abu Dhabi 18 Feb. 2013 (WAM): Under the directive of the President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding on a grant committed by the UAE to the Kingdom of Bahrain within the framework of the UAE's contribution through the Development Program of the Gulf Cooperation Council of the Arab Gulf States.
The UAE's contribution within this initiative amounts to $2.5 billion (AED 9.2 billion), which is equivalent to 25 per cent of the total value of the support offered to Bahrain under the initiative. This initiative was approved by the Gulf Co-operation Council to provide development funds to countries in the region, and the donors are the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The MoU was signed in Manama, Bahrain by Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of Finance in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Acting Director General of ADFD.
This grant, which will be managed by the ADFD, will be earmarked to finance projects in a number of priority sectors in Bahrain, including energy, housing, health and education. The grant comes within the framework of the constant support provided by the UAE government to Bahrain, with which it maintains fraternal relations.
Al Suwaidi said, "The UAE and the Kingdom of Bahrain have always enjoyed close brotherly relations at the people level and the leadership level over the past decades. This $2.5 billion grant embodies the UAE's commitment to supporting the Kingdom of Bahrain in different domains and reinforcing the economic and social development in Bahrain." He added, "The grant is significant for Bahrain as it will finance vital development projects. The country has entered a new phase of growth to strengthen its stature as an active regional hub for business, tourism and services.
"The grant will aid the efforts to stimulate sustainable economic growth in Bahrain, by helping the country carry out vital projects in energy, education, housing and more; attract more local and international investments; create new job opportunities; and raise the living standards of the Bahraini people." For his part, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, praised the constant support provided by the UAE to his country, saying, "We appreciate the close ties linking the Kingdom of Bahrain and the UAE, which represent a model to be followed in the regional effective co-operation domain. We extend our thanks and appreciation to the leadership of the UAE for its continuous support and its keenness to back the march of development in Bahrain." Minister of Finance of Bahrain, also expressed his appreciation for the active role played by the ADFD in pushing forward the development process in Bahrain through its supervision of projects funding.
Bahrain is one of the countries that has attracted loans and grants from the ADFD and Abu Dhabi Government. The total loans and grants provided and managed by ADFD amounted to AED 1.385 billion, for 15 projects covering several sectors, the foremost of which are housing and energy.
Since 1974, the ADFD has offered loans to Bahrain to finance 10 projects with a total value of AED 1.06 billion and managed grants worth AED 323.7 million.
The ADFD loans focused on the sectors most influential in the development process in Bahrain, as it financed six projects aimed at enhancing power supplies.
To support the housing sector in Bahrain, ADFD managed two grants by the Abu Dhabi government with a total value of AED 176.3 million to finance the first and second phases of Sheikh Zayed City, which included the construction of 490 housing units. It also managed a grant of AED 91.8 million for the land reclamation project in the northern region, meant to accommodate 90.000 housing units.
In the industrial sector, a loan of AED 60 million went into financing small industrial units, so as to support the Bahraini economy by encouraging diverse industries.
In the sectors of trade and logistics, the Fund financed the reclamation work for a new port and the industrial zone in Al Had district with a total value of AED 367.3 million.
With the latest grant of $2.5 billion to Bahrain, the total loans and grants provided and managed by the ADFD on behalf of Abu Dhabi government has risen to more than AED 10.5 billion.