Economic Cooperation (
Official Development Assistance, ODA )
Japanese Grant Aid is the provision of funds without any refunding
obligation on the recipient developing country, i.e. money
provided purely as grants.
The sectors covered by Japanese Grant Aid are basically areas of
low profitability, where it would be difficult to obtain loans.
Such areas include basic human needs (BHN) such as medicine and
health care, hygiene and sanitation, potable water supply, primary
and secondary education, environmental protection, rural and
agricultural development, as well as human resources development.
Suez Canal Bridge
click the photo for larger image
In Egypt, under this Japanese Grant Scheme, many important
projects have been implemented, such as Cairo University
Pediatric Hospital, the National Cultural Center (known as the
Cairo Opera House), Water Supply and Sewage Upgrading in Giza
City, the Waste Disposal System in Alexandria City, the Suez
Canal Bridge, etc.
Up until Japan’s fiscal year 2003, Japan had granted a total
of JPY 13 billion (approximately US$1,200 million) to Egypt
under this scheme. In Fiscal Year 2003, the total of US$56
million was provided.
Major Projects to serve the Egyptian people
Suez Canal Bridge
The Suez Canal Bridge or the “Egyptian-Japanese Friendship Bridge”
was built through a Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA)
grant. It was agreed to implement this joint project between Egypt
and Japan during the visit of President Mubarak to Japan in March
1995, as a substantial contribution by Japan to the plan approved by the
Egyptian Government in 1994 to develop Sinai Peninsula (through
developing agriculture in the north of Sinai, mining in the south
and tourism industry on shores of the Red Sea, with the settlement
of three million population in Sinai by 2017).
The bridge was inaugurated in October 2001. The Japanese
Government bore 60% of the total cost of the bridge, 13.5 billion
yen, while the Egyptian Government bore 40% of the cost, about 9
billion yen. Japan made use of its accumulated expertise gained
from building bridges in Japan which has many islands and rivers.
Modern techniques were transferred to Egypt, and mutual
friendship was deepened through the joint work with Egyptian
The bridge is 9 km long, including 5 km approaching roads and a 4
km cable stayed bridge. The clearance of the bridge is 70 meters above
the water level of Suez Canal, and that makes it the highest
clearance of the bridges in the world that have been built on a flat land. The height of the two
main pylons supporting the main span of the bridge
is 154 m each.The towers were designed in the shape of Pharaonic
obelisks, which were established to commemorate
kings’ achievements in ancient Egypt.
With the completion of the bridge, the time of moving from the
main land to Sinai has decreased, and a new road connecting Asia
and Africa was established. A memorial panel depicting the
Egyptian and Japanese flags conbined as a handshake was placed in the
middle of the main part of the bridge. This sends a message to the
passing ships in the Suez Canal announcing the friendship between
the two countries and peace of the region.
The Peace Bridge Marathon
On the occasion of the 2nd anniversary of the inauguration of the
bridge on December 2, 2003, the “Peace Bridge Marathon” was held
under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism. The
Japanese professional marathon runner, Mari Tanigawa participated
and about 100
Egyptian runners, 80 Japanese tourists gathered in Qantara. All
participants ran or walked 2 km of the Egyptian- Japanese Friendship
Bridge. At the end, participants received a papyrus certificate that they had competed the marathon.
To cross the Suez Canal between Asia and Africa, ferries used to
be needed. However,
with the construction of the Suez Canal Bridge, it became easy to cross the
Canal. The bridge represents the hope for peace in the Middle East.
Cairo Pediatric Hospital
Japan started the construction of the Pediatric Hospital in Cairo
in 1980. Technical cooperation for the project lasted for twenty
years between 1983 and 2002, during which 43 experts and
specialized doctors & nurses were dispatched. Also 16 Egyptian
doctors were trained in Japan and the medical staff of doctors,
nurses and technicians were created.
The joint technical cooperation has also contributed to improving
medical techniques, strengthened medical & curative systems and
enhanced the emergency system of the hospital. After Japanese
technology has been transferred to the hospital, it is now known
as the Japanese hospital. It has significantly improved techniques
of children’s heart surgeries, intensive care rooms and curative
systems of children’s emergency cases.
The hospital plays an important role as a central medical
institution for pediatrics in Egypt, and this role has been
increasing to the extent that death rates of children in Egypt has
decreased. The hospital receives many trainees from different
parts of Egypt as well as from the neighboring countries and it
extends technical assistance.
This hospital, which is affiliated to Cairo University, plays a
vital role in the implementation of the ongoing Egyptian-Japanese
medical cooperation for Iraq. A number of doctors of this hospital
were among the 8 Egyptian doctors who participated in the joint
team that was dispatched to Iraq in July 2003 to conduct the field
study. Also four Iraqi doctors partook in the workshop held in
Egypt in last October.Details of the proposed training to be held
in Cairo for Iraqi medical staff in four fields were agreed.
The four fields are: pediatrics, intensive care, nursing and
endoscopic surgeries. Due to the economic sanctions that had been
imposed on Iraq for 13 years, Iraq is very underdeveloped in the
field of medical techniques and equipment. It is expected that
Cairo Pediatric Hospital will utilize its experiences gained
through long years of Japanese technical cooperation in the
reconstruction of Iraq.
Cairo Opera House
Cairo had an opera house constructed in the occasion of the
opening of Suez Canal in 1869. It is said that the Italian
architect who built it had imitated Alla Scala of Milan. However,
the opera was unfortunately burned in 1971.
It was agreed to build a new opera house during the visit of
President Mubarak to Japan in 1983, and the construction was
completed in 1988 though a grant from the Japanese government.
Ever since, Cairo Opera House has become a center for cultural
activities in Egypt. Now after 15 years of operation, the
equipment and devices of the Opera House became old and faced
disruptions. Therefore, the request submitted by the Egyptian
Ministry of Culture in the last year to provide new sound & light
systems were accepted.
The Opera House was provided with new digital systems, changing
the operating system from the old analog system to a digital
system. Japanese experts trained technicians of the Opera House to
operate the new equipment on two terms, the first in November of
the past year and the second in April of this year.
As happened with the new Opera House, the grant recipient country
operates the project and supports it after termination of the
grant cooperation. However, in case of the occurrence of
unexpected problem that could disrupt the project, a follow up
assistance could be extended. In such a case, assistance will be
extended to the recipient country in order to maintain efficiency
of the project. Among the forms of the follow up assistance: the
follow up study, dispatch of examination equipment and dispatch of
maintenance teams. There is also urgent engineering works for
The Opera House has become more enjoyable after the new
renovations. We hope that everybody go to it to enjoy its
Table of Grant Aid Projects for Egypt until 2004
>> Click here to see the table of
grant aid projects for Egypt
→Japan's Assistance to