The World Bank agreed to raise Egypt’s portfolio from $5.5bn to $6bn, increasing the bank’s commitment to support a number of projects in the country, Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr told Daily News Egypt.
The Egyptian government is currently negotiating with the World Bank to secure a $3bn loan, part of the aforementioned amount for budget support. “Since the 25 January Revolution in 2011, Egypt has not been able to receive budget support from the World Bank. Now the bank is highly considering securing the amount,” she said.
The reason the bank is now willing to support the state’s budget is that the government has a clear reform programme, there is a stable macroeconomic frame, and the government is taking serious movements towards development, Nasr said.
The rest of the amount is intended to be used as “investment loans based on national projects”, including social housing, industrial zones and rural sanitation projects.
The total amount of $6bn is expected to be pumped within a three-year period from 2015 to 2017.
A final agreement has not yet been sealed, but Nasr said the loaned amount is expected to have an interest rate of 1.68%, a five year grace period, and will be paid over 35 years.
In a press conference Monday evening, Nasr said a new department at the ministry is responsible for cooperating and following up with other ministries to take rapid steps in projects’ execution to optimise benefit from the provided loans and grants.