By Mohamed Samir
An agreement for the second tranche worth $1bn of the $3bn loan allocated by the World Bank to fund the government’s economic and social development program was signed on Thursday between the Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and the World Bank’s country director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti Asaad Alem.
Nasr said that the loan will support the foreign exchange reserve, and that it will be exchanged later to the local currency in order to support development projects that will create jobs and promote sustainable growth. The minister added that the loan will fund the government’s social safety net programs to support the underprivileged and the provinces most in need through direct revenue projects.
“We are delighted to continue to support the ambitious reform program of Egypt focusing on providing job opportunities, enhancing the competitiveness of Egyptian enterprises, and raising the living standards of the Egyptian people,” Alem said.
He added that the World Bank approved on Tuesday the release of the second tranche once the agreement was signed. Alem added that the agreement had great support from the international community in the World Bank’s board vote, in support of the economic reforms that are being taken in Egypt. The loan will fund development sectors, including sanitation projects in rural areas, expanding access to natural gas to Egyptian households, social housing, and social safety nets.
Nasr said the World Bank’s support will contribute to the growth of small- and medium-sized enterprises and the improvement of the standard of living for Egyptians, noting that this agreement will be presented to the House of Representatives for approval, in accordance to the Constitution.