File Photo: World Bank (Photo: Reuters)
The World Bank's Board of Executive Directors approved on Tuesday the release of the second $1 billion tranche of the $3 billion loan package to support Egypt’s economic reform programme, according to a statement on the international cooperation ministry’s website.
“The WB's approval is regarded as a certification of trust for the state's economic reforms programme, especially after the reception of the African Development Bank's second tranche of the $1.5 billion three-year finance programme,” Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said in the statement.
In 2014, Egypt embarked on a plan to introduce a number of fiscal reforms, including fuel subsidy cuts that increased prices up to 78 percent, as well as imposing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit that is currently estimated at 12.2 percent of the GDP.
Egypt received the first tranche of the loan, worth $1 billion, in September.
“We are pleased to continue supporting the country’s ambitious programme of reforms with a strong focus on job creation and boosting the competitiveness of Egyptian businesses,” said Asad Alam, WB country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.
The current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 25 projects for a total commitment of about $8.5 billion.