Bank, ADB ap­prove Egypt loans On

Business monthly (Egypt) - - VIEW POINT -

Dec. 17, the World Bank’s board of di­rec­tors ap­proved a $1-bil­lion bud­getary sup­port loan for Egypt. Ac­cord­ing to the bank, the loan is the first in­stall­ment in a $3-bil­lion pack- age that will be re­leased over the com­ing three years pend­ing Egypt’s “sat­is­fac­tory im­ple­men­ta­tion” of a multi-year re­form pro­gram. On the same day, the bank also ap­proved a new Coun­try Part­ner­ship Frame­work for Egypt, in which the bank’s fi­nanc- ing arms will pro­vide $8 bil­lion, tar- get­ing pri­vate sec­tor job cre­ation, im­proved gov­er­nance and so­cial in­clu­sion. “World Bank Group sup- port to Egypt will fo­cus on the coun- try’s ur­gent need to cre­ate more jobs, es­pe­cially for the youth, im­prove qual­ity and in­clu­sive­ness in ser­vice de­liv­ery, and pro­mote more ef­fec­tive pro­tec­tion of the poor and the vul­ner- able,” said Asad Alam, World Bank coun­try di­rec­tor for Egypt, Ye­men and Dji­bouti, in a press state­ment. In re­lated news, the African Devel­op­ment Bank also ap­proved last month a $500 mil­lion soft loan for Egypt, the first tranche of an an­tici- pated $1.5 bil­lion pack­age. in­crease over the cur­rent in­vest­ment level, which the Gen­eral Author­ity for In­vest­ments puts at around $6 bil­lion. Saudi Ara­bia also agreed to sup­port Egypt’s pe­tro­leum needs for five years and to help boost Suez Canal traf­fic. A time­line for these in­vest- ments was not spec­i­fied, nor were the mech­a­nisms by which Saudi Ara­bia in­tends to in­crease Suez Canal traf­fic. The aid and in­vest­ment pack­age was an­nounced two days af­ter Saudi Ara­bia an­nounced that Egypt was among the 35 Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity states join­ing a Saudi-led al­liance against ter­ror­ism. An­war Ashki, chair­per­son of the Jed­dah-based Mid­dle East Cen­ter for Strate­gic and Le­gal Stud­ies told in­de­pen­dent news site Mada Masr that the deal is in­tended “to make Egypt’s en­e­mies un­der­stand that Saudi Ara­bia is sup­port­ing Egypt,” but he de­nied that it was linked to Egypt’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the anti-ter­ror al­liance.

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