Oman and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on 27 May signed a financial cooperation agreement to facilitate the 10-year $2.5bn ($250mn/year) funding program for development projects in Oman. The Kuwait grant is part of a $20bn GCC funding program pledged by Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait, to extend $10bn each to Oman and Bahrain for development projects.

The program was approved in March 2011 to ease tensions and promote economic development following pro-democracy uprisings (MEES, 9 May 2011). Oman and Bahrain, which are GCC member countries, have limited energy resources. In addition to funding development projects in Oman, the Kuwait grant will also finance joint venture projects at bilateral or GCC levels, including the GCC electricity grid and railway project. (CONTINUED - 278 WORDS)