CAIRO, 23rd December, 2016 (WAM) – The World Bank and Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation signed on Thursday the loan agreement for USD 1 billion for the Second Fiscal Consolidation, Sustainable Energy, and Competitiveness Programmatic Development Policy Financing (DPF) for Egypt.

This operation supports the country’s inclusive growth program across key economic areas. The DPF loan was approved by the Executive Board of the World Bank on December 20, 2016.

“We welcome the World Bank’s support of the transformational economic reform agenda of the government. This second operation supports our home grown program to help Egypt realise its full potential and raise the living standards of all its people,” said Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, who also represents Egypt on the World Bank’s Board of Governors.

The DPF supports the country’s inclusive economic reform program. Key to this are efforts to create jobs, spur growth, and attract new investment. This is to be achieved through an enabling economic environment that puts public finances on a more sustainable footing, supports energy security, efficiency, and investment, and helps improve the business environment for small and medium enterprises through cutting red tape, reducing barriers to entry, and promoting better competition policies.

“We are pleased to continue supporting the country’s ambitious program of reforms with a strong focus on private sector led job creation and creating a platform for inclusive growth of Egypt,” said Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.

The DPF is a loan over 35 year maturity with a grace period of 5 years, so as to spread the repayment period over a longer tenure. The loan carries a variable interest rate of around 1 per cent above LIBOR.

World Bank finances programs and projects to reduce poverty and boost shared prosperity for the people of Egypt through investments in key sectors including social safety nets, energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, social housing, primary health care, as well as supporting employment-intensive projects and financing for micro- and small enterprises.

The current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 25 projects for a total commitment of about $8.5 billion.

WAM/tfaham