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  • Wednesday, 11 November 2020
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Egypt, World Bank Sign Agreements Worth 1.15 Billion Dollars in 2020 to Support Over 30 Million Egyptian People: Minister of International Cooperation

Within the framework of the Ministry of International Cooperation's vision to strengthen economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners in order to meet Egypt’s development financing needs, the Ministry succeeded in concluding agreements worth $1.15 billion with the World Bank since January 2020 to support over 30 million Egyptian citizens in various sectors, the most important of which are health, housing and the environment.

Al-Mashat said that the Ministry has been committed to chart the course for SDG financing as as the world enters into a “decade of action and delivery,” redesigning development finance to be dedicated towards sustainable development and collectively achieve the National 2030 Agenda. Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and the World Bank Group released today a new Economic report titled: ‘Economic Monitor Report: From Crisis to Economic Transformation, Unleashing Egypt's Potential in Productivity and Job creation’ in the presence of H.E. Dr. Tarek Shawki, Minister of Education and Technical Education. Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, affirmed that the report reflects Egypt’s story of resilience that has been singled out on the global stage through several international reports, such as the Global Economic Prospects issued earlier by the World Bank, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction Report, which highlighted that Egypt is the only economy across the region likely to escape recession in the 2020 calendar year, and the only country with positive rates of 2%in 2020 and expectations in 2021 of 5%. The agreements comes under the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Global Partnerships Narrative, which is defined by the triple Ps: people at the core, projects in action, and purpose as the driver. Transforming Egypt’s Healthcare System Project At the start of the pandemic, Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, said the Ministry immediately held meetings under the first multi-stakeholder platform “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to determine urgent financing needs and priorities in the health sector, which resulted in an agreement with the World Bank worth 50 million dollars within the framework of the rapid financing package to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. To support Egypt’s transformational Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS), World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved US$400 million as part of the country’s pathway toward achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and improving the health outcomes of its citizens. Under people at the core, the overall projects since 2018 in health improve services in 600 primary health-care facilities and 27 hospitals, screening of one million blood units per year, expanding hepatitis C screening for about 35 million citizens and treating some 1.5 million patients, as well as the screening of 20 million adults for non-communicable diseases. SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND COMMUNITIES In March 2020, the World Bank provided additional financing of $500 million to support ongoing efforts to improve the affordability of formal housing for low-income households in Egypt and strengthen the capacity of Egypt’s Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund to design policies and coordinate social housing programs. The significant allocated fund is aimed at strengthening Egypt’s Social Housing and Mortgage Finance Fund which oversees the “Inclusive Housing Finance Program Housing program” launched in 2015. The latter aims to provide affordable housing to almost 1 million Egyptian nationals of low and middle incomes by 2024. Prioritizing women and youth, the program also seeks to supervise the implementation of the housing programs, manage land use and design policies. PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT To protect the environment, in September 2020, the World Bank provided $200 million to support Egypt’s initiatives to reduce air and climate pollution from critical sectors and to increase resilience to air pollution in Greater Cairo. The project will focus on reducing vehicle emissions, improving the management of solid waste, and strengthening the air and climate decision-making system. Supporting Egypt Education Reform Project Under the Egypt Education Reform Project, the World Bank has helped support education facilities to 12.2 million primary school pupils, 8.9 million in junior high, and 2.8 million at the secondary level through a grant of USD 500 million in 28 August 2018. Strengthening Social Safety Nets (Takafol w Karama) Dedicated to strengthening social safety nets, the Takafol and Karama project has helped support 2.26 million homes, including 10% of Egypt's population, equivalent to 9.4 million citizens. Through a USD 900 million grant signed in 9 January 2020, it aims to provide conditional family income support aimed at increasing food consumption, reduce poverty while encouraging families to keep children in school, provide families with needed health care, and protect Egypt’s poor elderly citizens above 65 years of age and citizens with severe disabilities and diseases as well as orphans. The total current portfolio of bilateral cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank amounts to $5.38 billion in various sectors including housing, sanitation, social solidarity, transportation, health, education, local development, petroleum, small enterprises and the environment.