The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) launched on Tuesday two programs totalling €220 million to offer sub-loans to businesses for green investments in energy, water and resource-efficient solutions.
The EBRD said in a statement that the programs are complemented by EU grants of more than €30 million and GCF concessional co-financing as well as technical assistance of up to $24 million.
It added that they come in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Egyptian economy and target boosting green finance and the development of value chains for the private sector.
The newly launched Green Value Chain program, with a volume of up to €70 million, is expected to allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt to invest in advanced technologies and climate mitigation and adaptation solutions that improve competitiveness and enhance the development of green value chains, according to the EBRD.
The program also will support activities that reinforce equal opportunities for men and women to access finance for green technologies and solutions, according to the EBRD.
The second program, which is an extension of the Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF), aims to provide up to €150 million in green finance to SMEs across the agricultural, construction, commercial and manufacturing sectors, according to the EBRD.
The facility has already provided €140 million in energy efficiency financing in a previous phase through four partner banks, NBK Egypt, QNB Alahli, Alexbank and Arab African International Bank, all of which benefited from EU grants, and the GEFF was initially piloted by the National Bank of Egypt in 2014.
Meanwhile, loans under both programs cover investments in best available technologies, including energy and resource-efficient production machinery, renewable energy applications, agricultural irrigation and rainwater harvesting equipment, and many others, according to the EBRD.
The bank said that clients can identify climate-friendly technologies with the help of the Green Technology Selector.
EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean region Heike Harmgart said that Egypt has great potential to build a low-carbon future and the EBRD is proud to work with its international partners to support the country in achieving a green economic recovery.
“The private sector is a key player in this process and has strong demand for green finance. We are pleased to build on our successful energy-efficiency programs and to announce our new Green Value Chain program aimed at greening SMEs, which are the backbone of the economy,” she added.
“The European Union and Egypt cooperate closely to establish a green economy with a strong commitment to moving towards a low-carbon future and to making financial markets more sustainable. There is a need to incentivise green finance across the entire investment chain,” said Ambassador Christian Berger, head of the EU Delegation to Egypt.
“Together with the EBRD, the EIB and the AFD, we have established the first Green Economy Financing Facility in Egypt which has served more than 100 industrial facilities to convert to low carbon schemes and today we are very proud to launch an extension of the successful facility,” Berger said.
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of the bank’s operations in Egypt in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €6.8 billion in 123 projects in the country, according to the bank’s official data.