Qatar has decided to give two billion dollars in financial support to Egypt, which is plagued by serious economic challenges, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported Saturday.
The announcement came after a Cairo meeting between President Mohamed Mursi and Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.
“Qatar has decided to deposit two billion dollars in the Central Bank of Egypt,” said the report.
The central bank’s reserves have fallen sharply since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Reserves are at 14.4 billion dollars, against 36 billion dollars a year and a half ago.
The cash shortfall raises fears about Egypt’s ability to maintain imports of basic commodities such as wheat and refined fuel and to honor its international financial commitments.
An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected in Cairo this month for talks on a lifeline worth some 3.2 billion dollars for Egypt, which has seen tourism and foreign investment drop off amid its political turmoil.