Loan agreements with WB, ADB move ahead
December saw progress in two major, multi-phase financing agreements between Egypt and multilateral lenders. On Dec. 19, the African Development Bank signed a $500 billion loan for Egypt, the second tranche of a three-year, $1.5 billion series of loans the bank says is “designed to support strong, sustainable and inclusive growth in Egypt by providing a financing incentive for reforms that will help drive fiscal consolidation, improved governance and efficiency in the energy sector, and strengthening of the business operating environment.” Then, in a Dec. 20 meeting, the World Bank's executive board signed off on the second $1-billion installment of a $3-billion loan for Egypt. The funds are meant to support the government's economic reform agenda, particularly programs focusing on job creation and increasing the competitiveness of local businesses. The first tranche arrived in Egypt in September. “This program supports our home grown program to help Egypt realize its full potential and raise the living standards of all its people,” said Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s minister of international cooperation, in a press statement. In related news, the International Financial Corporation, the World Bank’s private-sector arm, pledged up to $2 billion in investments in Egypt over the next three years, reported state-owned Ahram Online.