In a plenary session that took place in late June,  Egypt’s Members of Parliament (MPs) have approved a presidential decree on the King Salman Program for the Development of Sinai, a Saudi-Egyptian loan agreement that aims to develop the peninsula, reported Footprint to Africa.

The initial agreement was signed in March 2016 in Riyadh and the loan agreement was provisionally approved by the parliament in the first week of June 2016, according to Ahram Online.

The source added that the agreement provides Egypt with a $1.5b soft-term loan to help develop Sinai and buy Saudi oil products. Of this value, $500m will be invested in developing various projects in Sinai; including constructing the Salman University in El-Tor, funding agricultural and irrigation projects, and upgrading North Sinai’s road network. The remaining $1b will be earmarked for buying the Saudi oil products that Egypt requires for other developmental projects.

The Chairman of the Parliament’s Human Rights Committee, Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat, hopes that this agreement achieves its desired objectives and successfully develops Sinai. He stated that previously different institutions have had various trials in developing the peninsula, but unfortunately never succeeded. He recommended forming a special apparatus, under the name Sinai Development Apparatus, to take charge of implementing all Sinai development programs.