Egypt – The allocations for the Egyptian health sector have increased by 940 million euros in the current budget with a total of 15.12 billion euros, Egyptian Finance Minister Mohamed Maait said, in a comment to the local press on the eighth edition of the citizen’s budget report, a ministerial initiative to disclose the country’s economic data. According to Maait, the allocations for the pre-university education sector amount to 14.04 billion euros while those for higher education are 7.24 billion euros, both of which are hundreds of millions of euros more. Scientific research funding also increased by 220 million euros to 3.5 billion euros. In terms of social protection, pension allocations increased by 13%, while salary allocations increased by 2.03 billion. The minister explained that Egypt’s budget will focus on maintaining financial stability during the ongoing pandemic, and maintaining “the diversity and strength of the Egyptian economy” through new partnerships with the private sector, describing it as a major driver of economic growth. The budget for Egypt’s current fiscal year, which began in July, is 140 billion euros, the highest in Egypt’s history. Real GDP growth is expected to be 5.4%, after experiencing a slowdown in the 2020/21 fiscal year estimated at 2.8%, thanks to the gradual recovery of the Egyptian economy from the pandemic. The draft budget aims to contain the debt and reduce the deficit to 89% of GDP, down from the current 89.8%. The government is also working to extend the debt repayment period to 4.2 years, compared to the 3.6 years currently expected. [ASB]

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