Egypt signs $1 billion deal to fund energy, food

Egypt on Sunday signed an accord with the Saudi-based Islamic Development Bank for $1 billion in funding for the purchase of energy and food products.

State news agency MENA said the deal was signed by International Cooperation Minister Faiza Abul Naga and an affiliate of the IDB, but the mechanism of the financing was not specified.

The funds are to be used to import fuel products and food imports, especially wheat of which Egypt is the world's top importer.

The deal comes as Egypt's economy has been hit by last year's uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, a fall in tourism revenues, slump in foreign investment, decline in foreign currency reserves and widening of the budget deficit.

Egypt has been negotiating for several months a $3.2-billion-dollar loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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