The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are responding to the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on the Egyptian economy by boosting green finance and the development of value chains for the private sector.
Working with the EBRD’s local partner banks, two programmes cumulatively worth €220m will offer sub-loans to businesses for green investments in energy, water and resource-efficient solutions.
The programmes are complemented by EU grants of more than €30m and GCF concessional co-financing, as well as technical assistance of up to $24m.
The newly launched Green Value Chain programme, with a volume of up to €70m, will allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in advanced technologies and climate mitigation and adaptation solutions that improve competitiveness and enhance the development of green value chains.
The programme also supports activities that enhance equal opportunities for men and women to access finance for green technologies and solutions.
The second programme, an extension of the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), aims to provide up to €150m of green finance to SMEs across the agricultural, construction, commercial and manufacturing sectors.
The facility has already provided €140m of energy efficiency financing in a previous phase through four partner banks, NBK Egypt, QNB Al-Ahly, Alexbank and the Arab African International Bank (AAIB), all of which benefited from EU grants. The GEFF was initially piloted by the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) in 2014.
Loans under both programmes cover investments in the best available technologies, such as energy and resource-efficient production machinery, renewable energy applications, agricultural irrigation and rainwater harvesting equipment, and many others. Clients can identify climate-friendly technologies with the help of the Green Technology Selector.
Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, said, “Egypt has great potential to build a low-carbon future and we are proud to work with our international partners to support the country in achieving a green economic recovery.”
“The private sector is a key player in this process and has strong demand for green finance,” Harmgart added, “We are pleased to build on our successful energy-efficiency programmes and to announce our new Green Value Chain programme aimed at greening SMEs, which are the backbone of the economy.”
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the bank’s operations in the country in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €6.8bn in 123 projects.