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UAE Crown Prince first to donate $3m to Cairo cancer institute

National cancer institute of Egypt [Wikipedia]
National cancer institute of Egypt [Wikipedia]

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi was the first person to donate to Cairo’s cancer institute, which was hit by a bomb that killed 20 people and injured 47 on Sunday night.

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed pledged 50 million Egyptian pounds ($3 million) to fund restoration works at the National Cancer Institute.

Egypt’s Interior Ministry has said that the explosion was the result of a collision after a car moving in the opposite direction of traffic filled with explosives collided with other vehicles causing significant damage to the hospital and adjacent buildings.

Authorities have accused the Hasm group, which they say is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, for the attack. The Brotherhood was classed illegal in 2013 and since then all political prisoners are accused of belonging to or funding the group, whether they are or not.

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The UAE is one of Egypt’s biggest allies and has provided Cairo with huge financial assistance since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s rise to power. Following the 2013 coup the UAE pledged $3 billion in aid to Egypt.

In 2017 leaked emails from the UAE ambassador in Washington revealed that the UAE paid $2.7 million for the US public relations firm Glover Park Group to overcome negative press the North African country faced after the 2013 coup.

Also in 2017 the UAE transferred a €10 million ($11.2 million) surveillance system to Egypt as the regime moved to tighten its monitoring of the internet. Egypt has blocked some 500 websites since 2015.

After Egypt made the unpopular decision to float the Egyptian pound in 2016 the UAE deposited $1 billion into the Central Bank of Egypt.

Sheikh Mohammed has visited Cairo twice already this year and around ten times since June 2015. Last year he said: “The UAE and Egypt are united by a long-standing relationship which is constantly growing stronger.”

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