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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Egypt in talks with World Bank for additional $500 mln fund for social housing projects

Ahram Online, Tuesday 10 Jul 2018
Nasr
File Photo: Minister of investment and international cooperation Sahar Nasr (Reuters)
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Egypt discussed with the World Bank on Tuesday a $500 million fund for the country’s social housing projects targeting low-income households, the Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation announced.

The World Bank first funded Egypt's social housing projects with $500 million in 2015.

According to an official statement, Minister Sahar Nasr discussed the additional fund with the World Bank’s delegation to Egypt.

Both sides discussed the additional fund to expand the projects' beneficiary base, with the World Bank group praising the “major success” achieved by the projects.

Nasr pointed to the importance of continued contributions by the World Bank to support Egypt’s housing sector, especially social housing projects, which she said came as a priority for President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Nasr added the government is continuing efforts related to executing the social housing programme, to provide housing for citizens at affordable prices.

The World Bank delegation expressed its readiness to provide Egypt with the benefits of its experience related to involving the private sector in social housing projects, describing the Egyptian model in the programme as a “success story.”

In 2014 Egypt began a project to build a million houses, in an aim to secure suitable residences for low-income families under the country’s Social Housing Fund (SHF).

The World Bank announced in 2015 a $500 million project to “improve access to homeownership and rental units for low-income households in Egypt” under the SHF, which the bank said would reach 3.6 million people, including an estimated 1.6 million beneficiaries living below the poverty line, over a five year period, the life of the programme.

In February 2018, Egypt’s housing ministry said that 1.7 million housing units had been built and sold by the government over the past four years.

Nasr also discussed the development situation in Sinai with delegation members.

Both sides agreed on the importance of rapid support by the World Bank to contribute to the development of the Sinai Peninsula to achieve sustainable and comprehensive development for Sinai and job opportunities for its residents.

Egypt has been in talks with the World Bank and others financing resources to develop the peninsula, which lacks basic infrastructure and has a high unemployment rate.

The Egyptian state’s project to develop Sinai should be completed by 2022 at a cost of some EGP 275 billion ($15.6 billion), presidential aide Ibrahim Mahlab said in April.  

The delegation was headed by the World Bank’s Chief Technical Advisor Loic Chiquier and the World Bank Group’s Practice Director for Finance, Competitiveness and Innovation Najy Benhassine.

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