Investment and International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt June 21, 2017
Egypt recieved development funds worth $7 billion to support 79 projects in 11 sectors in 2016, the investment and international cooperation ministry said on Friday.
“In 2016, we were able to inject $7 billion into economic, social and environmental development that meets the needs of both individuals and communities," the ministry said in an annual report released Friday, titled “One Year of Effective Development Cooperation."
"The funds were spread among 79 development projects aimed at improving the standard of living of citizens, with a particular focus on the poor and vulnerable in disadvantaged areas,” it added.
The report, which tracks development efforts in 2016, consists of four chapters: development assistance management for sustainable development, development cooperation activities in 2016, consensus with national development goals, and comprehensive growth and fair development.
In 2016, the ministry signed 57 agreements with international and regional development institutions, including the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the United Nations agencies and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), according to the report.
The 11 areas covered by projects are divided into economic, social and environmental dimensions, the report said.
The areas included infrastructure; macroeconomic stability and governance; entrepreneurship; small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs); agricultural productivity and food security; investment; trade; industry; social justice; education and training and cultural heritage and tourism.
The report added that the aims of these projects include, but are not limited to, creating more than 354,000 new jobs, delivering natural gas to 2.4 million homes, establishing 1,200 community schools, and providing clean drinking water to 480 disadvantaged villages.
“The ministry has coordinated with the international community and local authorities to channel the necessary financial and technical support into economic, social and environmental development,” the report read.
In cooperation with development partners, the ministry implemented a number of projects promoting SMEs in marginalised areas that would allow residents, especially women, to participate in the growth process, the report highlighted.
“More than 100,000 micro-enterprises in marginalised areas were launched and 126,000 jobs were created. In addition, the ministry has contributed to the support of about 45,000 SMEs, creating more than 22 thousand jobs. The proportion of micro-enterprises is about 56%, and the proportion of small and medium enterprises is 44% of total SMEs in rural areas,” the report said.
The ministry said it directed projects worth a total of $425.8 million into water and sanitation in marginalised areas. It put another $365.8 million into water and sanitation projects -- some also in marginalised areas -- to create acess to potable water and improved sanitation facilities for residents of North and South Sinai and the Upper Egypt cities of Beni Suef, Minya, Sohag, Assiut, Qena, Aswan and Luxor.
In March 2016, Egypt signed a $3 billion loan with the World Bank to support the government’s economic reform programme, with the funds intended for fiscal consolidation, ensuring energy supplies, and enhancing competitiveness in the private sector. Two $1 billion tranches were delivered in September and March, with the third tranche expected in December.