Egypt’s Parliament approves $1bn financing agreements with WBG, AfDB in health, transport

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has announced that the House of Representatives approved three of the Ministry’s development financing agreements with the World Bank Group (WBG) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) worth a total of $1bn.

The funds will be directed for implementing the Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS), and supporting the transportation sector, particularly the railway network.

Minister Al-Mashat said the approved agreements come to support the state’s development priorities and implement Egypt’s Vision 2030; consistent with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The House of Representatives approved an agreement between Egypt and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the lending arm of the WBG, to support the country’s UHIS with $400m.

Another agreement with IBRD aims to develop Egypt’s railways network, with €362.9m ($430m) finance. 

AfDB also offered €145m ($172m) to modernise the country’s railway network.

Minister Al-Mashat revealed that the soft loans come with 1.5-2% interest, and long-term grace and repayment periods.

Despite the high demand for development financing globally, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt was able to secure necessary financing through its development partners, thanks to the country’s ambitious reform programme and development plans, according to Minister Al-Mashat.

The Minister has documented Egypt’s experience in development cooperation through her recently launched book, “Stakeholder Engagement through Economic Diplomacy” published by the London School of Economics (LSE).

She showcased Egypt’s experience in international cooperation, sharing with neighboring countries a replicable template on how to utilize multilateralism to foster impactful partnerships. The book also explains how Egypt’s experience was carried out through international standards, and how it was implemented on-ground, by national efforts.

She expressed that Egypt’s economic diplomacy is based on three principles; hosting multi-stakeholder platforms that bring all partners at one decision-making table; mapping the ODA to the 17 UN SDGs to identify gaps and align global goals with national priorities; and adopting a Global Partnerships Narrative that forged a common language of communication for unity by placing People at the Core, through Projects in Action, with Purpose as the Driver.

Minister Al-Mashat also applauded the role played by the House of Representatives, at the level of oversight and legislation, to support the state’s efforts in moving forward towards sustainable development.

Last year, the Ministry of International Cooperation held two multi-stakeholder platforms in the transportation and health sectors, which brought together national entities, and all multilateral and bilateral partners, to present financing needs. This contributed to the provision of development funds worth $1.8bn for developing the infrastructure of transportation, and $477 m for the health sector. 

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