Boys play on the bank of the river Nile at the outskirts of Giza governorate, Jan. 20, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
The World Bank has agreed to offer Egypt $1.5 billion (LE 10.5 billion) in financing for social housing and sanitation for villages over a period of three years, housing, utilities and urban development minister Mostafa Madbouly announced in an official press release on Tuesday.
The agreement, concluded during a two-day visit by the minister to the United States, includes a soft loan and grants worth $500 million (LE3.5 billion) for social housing projects, to be disbursed in installments of $100-120 million (LE700 – 840 million) a year.
The sanitation project will cover 760 villages along the Rosetta branch of the Nile Delta and along the Al-Salam Canal, which runs from the East Delta through the Sinai peninsula, at a cost of $1 billion over three years, said the minister, without specifying when the first $150 million installment would be received.
According to Madbouly, the World Bank has vowed to lead a group of donor institutions to grant additional funding for the project, which needs $2.5 billion (LE17.5 billion) to be completed.
In July, the World Bank approved a $300 million (LE2.1 billion) interest free loan to Egypt to fund micro and small enterprises (MSEs).
A month prior, the bank signed an $8.10 million (LE57 million) grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for Egypt's Sustainable Persistent Organic Pollutants Management Project (POPs).
The World Bank's commitment to Egypt currently includes 25 projects for a total of US$4.9 billion (LE34.3 billion) as well as 43 trust fund grants worth US$190.2 million (LE1.3 billion) in the sectors of energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation, health and education.