Egypt signed a $500 million loan deal with the World Bank to help create jobs and improve infrastructure in Upper Egypt, the Ministry of International Cooperation said.
The program - part of a total $8 billion the World Bank Group will provide to Egypt from 2015-2019 - is aimed at "raising the living standard of citizens in [Egyptian] governorates most in need," Minister Sahar Nasr said in a statement on Thursday.
The Upper Egypt Local Development Program will improve economic growth rates in Upper Egypt, create sustainable job opportunities, enhance the business climate and improve infrastructure and the delivery of services, the minister added.
The deal was signed during the annual meetings of the World Bank Group in Washington on Thursday.
The World Bank said last week that the program will focus on the two lagging regions of Qena and Sohag, which are among Egypt's poorest areas "but have a large unrealized growth potential."
"This operation is a key part of the World Bank’s strategic focus in Egypt to promote jobs, address spatial inequality, and improve governance in service delivery,” Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said last week.
The program will focus on facilitating and promoting private sector development in agribusiness, service, and industrial sectors with growth potential.