By Heba Hesham
CAIRO: Egypt will increase its contribution to the International Development Association, a World Bank fund that helps the world’s poorest nations, after the People’s Assembly approved the move.
“The total increase is estimated at SDR 31.5 billion, which is equivalent to $47.25 billion, while Egypt’s share is estimated at about $2.2 million to be paid in three installments,” a report by a PA committee said.
Special Drawing Rights (SDR) is not a currency but a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of member countries of the multilateral financial institution, according to the UN.
The session, discussing the planning and budget committee’s report to raise Egypt’s IDA contribution, witnessed a notable absence of the MPs who had requested to comment on the report.
MP Ashraf Badr read the report of the PA sub-committee, which approved a decision by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) giving the go ahead for Egypt’s contribution to the 16th replenishment of IDA funds.
Donor countries replenish IDA funds every three years. The report, approved by the PA, explained that replenishing IDA funds will give it enough resources to finance the states that are eligible to borrow in the form of loans, grants, guarantees and means of financial risk management.
The increase also supports the initiative of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC), the debt relief initiative, as well as settles the payment arrears of some of IDA’s member states.
The PA committee’s report recommended that Egypt contribute to the 16th replenishment “in order to ensure that Egypt fulfils its foreign obligations and to save its voting power to participate in the decision-making process, and to be well represented in international organizations.”
The IDA16 replenishment raises funds for poor countries for the three-year period between July 2011 and June 2014, according to the World Bank.
Egypt joined IDA, which was founded in 1960, since its inception with an IPO of approximately $6 million to grant it a voting power that is estimated by about 6,900 votes.
Egypt received about $1 billion from 1990 to 1999 to support development programs.
Finance Minister Momtaz El-Saeed said that Egypt gets loans from the IDA at affordable interest rates.