Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi greets Qatar's Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani (right) at the Presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt in this August 11, 2012 file photo. Image Credit: EPA

Cairo: Qatar has decided to give two billion dollars in financial support to Egypt, which is plagued by serious economic challenges, Egyptian state news agency Mena reported on Saturday.

The announcement came after a Cairo meeting between President Mohamad Mursi and Qatar’s emir, Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani.

“Qatar has decided to deposit two billion dollars in the Central Bank of Egypt,” said the report.

The central bank’s reserves have fallen sharply since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Reserves are at $14.4 billion, against $36 billion a year and a half ago.

The cash shortfall raises fears about Egypt’s ability to maintain imports of basic commodities such as wheat and refined fuel and to honour its international financial commitments.

An International Monetary Fund delegation is expected in Cairo this month for talks on a lifeline worth some $3.2 billion for Egypt, which has seen tourism and foreign investment drop off amid its political turmoil.