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Egypt Tops EBRD’s SEMED Countries of Operation Development Financing Investment in 2020

Egypt was the top destination for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s investment in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries

Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, announced that Egypt was the top destination for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)’s investment in southern and eastern Mediterranean countries, which include Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and the West Bank and Gaza, accounting for more than EUR 1 bn of the EUR 2.13 bn of the total development financing provided to SEMED countries in 48 projects across the region. While the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a decline in development gains globally, it also demonstrated that extraordinary multi-sectoral and collaborative interventions are possible, Al-Mashat stated. These interventions are evidenced by Egypt’s partnership with the EBRD, which played an indispensable role in building back better to address significant short-term and long-term challenges such as unemployment and climate change. To kick-start the economy during the pandemic, the EBRD provided €784 million of liquidity lines to local banks for on-lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to protect jobs and help enterprises restart and reshape through the recovery phase. Building an inclusive, green and resilient recovery, the Bank also provided USD 12 million loan to Al Hayat Regency for the development of a new hotel in West Cairo, which will generate more than 300 jobs and promote women’s inclusion through a high-quality training programme, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO). The Bank also placed the promotion of green investment as a central pillar in its comprehensive recovery strategy, supporting one of the first green private-to-private projects in the country with an initial USD 4.2 million loan to TAQA PV for Solar Energy, TAQA Arabia’s renewable energy subsidiary. In October 2020, Al-Mashat participated in the annual European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Bank (EBRD) meetings to chart the Bank’s strategy for the next 5 years, which aims to bolster a resilient economy through accelerating green investment, as the EBRD is poised to become a majority green bank by 2025 and increase green financing to at least 50% of its total financing by 2025. The Bank’s Strategic and Capital Framework (SCF) 2021-25 focuses on three main pillars: i. Transition to a green, low carbon economy - The goal is to raise the share of green finance to at least 50 per cent and to reduce net CO2 by 25 to 40 million tonnes by the end of the SCF period; ii. Equality of Opportunity - Priority client segments will include women, youth and those in less developed regions. iii. Digital Transition In September 2020, Al-Mashat and Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean, published a joint op-ed article on Ahram on the role of multilateralism for a sustainable and resilient restart, and how both partners aim to enhance effectiveness in “forging a new social compact” that is based on a set of core inclusive values and implementing projects that are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the Bank’s operations in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €7.1 billion in more than 125 projects in the country, with a total private sector share of 74%. According to the annual report by the Ministry of International Cooperation in 2020, the ministry secured development financing agreements worth $9.8 billion during the year; $6.7 billion for financing sovereign projects, and $3.1 billion in support of the private sector.