BY: Ahmad Abu el-Hamd
Egypt is set to receive in December the third and final $1 billion tranche of a $3 billion loan from the World Bank, citing the bank’s vice president for the Middle East and North Africa Hafez Ghanem.
Ghanem’s statements were made during his meeting in Washington with a delegation from the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo that is in the US to promote investment in Egypt.
Ghanem said that the bank’s strategy with Egypt is based on two main pillars; an increase in investments to provide job opportunities and improving the social safety nets (SSN) and living standards for the poorest in the country.
The statement by the World Bank official comes a few months after Egypt said it was negotiating the third and final tranche from the World Bank loan to support the government’s ongoing economic reform programme.
In late March, the World Bank announced it had handed over the second $1 billion tranche to Egypt, with the funds intended for fiscal consolidation, ensuring energy supply and enhancing competitiveness in the private sector.
Egypt received the first tranche of the loan in September.
The World Bank finances several projects in Egypt, including projects related to energy, transport, water, wastewater, agriculture and irrigation, population and health. It also supports employment-intensive projects and finances small and medium-sized enterprises.
According to the bank’s data, the current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 26 projects for a total commitment of $5.92 billion.
On Wednesday, the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) said the country’s foreign reserves edged up to $28.641 billion at the end of April from $28.5 billion at the end of March.
Egypt’s foreign reserves have been climbing since it clinched a $12 billion three-year loan from the International Monetary Fund in November in a bid to lure back foreign capital.