Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Meselhi met with a delegation of the World Bank (WB) Group headed by Robert Bogoda — Director of Operations at the WB — on Sunday.
During the meeting, the two sides discussed the executive procedures to activate the development financing agreement that was approved last June with a value of $500m to enhance Egypt’s efforts to achieve food security and improve the resilience of its economy in the face of the repercussions of the war in Europe.
The two ministers stressed the importance of development cooperation between the government and the WB and the role of the development finance that was recently approved in supporting the government’s commitment to meeting citizens’ needs for strategic goods, which comes at the top of the Egyptian state’s concerns.
They also pointed out that the Egyptian government has implemented unremitting efforts over the past years that have contributed to enhancing its ability to deal with sudden shocks due to the Russian-Ukrainian War.
The country is constantly expanding to increase the agricultural area of strategic crops, including wheat, which has contributed to enhancing its ability to store wheat and grain and increasing efforts to achieve food security.
Al-Mashat announced at the end of last June that the WB approved $500m in development financing to bolster the country’s efforts in the field of food security by financing wheat purchases and expanding wheat storage silo projects.
Egypt is the first country to successfully complete a programme to support and develop its food security and sustainable production system with the WB in the backdrop of the government’s extensive reform programnmes in this vital and important sector.
The project will also catalyse climate change efforts through a range of interventions, including investments in developing wheat storage silos and significantly reducing waste, as well as providing extension and training programmes for farmers and promoting smart and sustainable agriculture.
Last October, Al-Mashat and Meselhi laid the cornerstone of a silo for storing wheat in West Port Said Port, which will have a storage capacity of 100,000 tonnes.
It is worth noting that the funds made available through development partners to support food security efforts through the expansion of silo projects amount to about $538m, as the UAE provided a grant of $300m to inaugurate 25 silos, and development partners — Saudi Fund for Development, France, the OPEC Fund for International Development, and the Egyptian-Italian Debt Swap Programme for Development — contributed about $129m to implement several projects, including the inauguration of 10 storage silos and the implementation of a project to manage and control the wheat handling process.
Additionally, the French Development Agency provided $109m to aid in the implementation of a pilot project for wholesale trade in Alexandria, which comes within the framework of the strategic partnership between Egypt and France.
The ongoing development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the WB amounts to about $5.9bn, through which 15 projects are implemented in the health, transportation, and environment sectors.