International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr (Al-Ahram)
Egypt’s foreign funding recorded $25.5 billion in loans and grants from “development partners” as of June 2017, according to an investment and international cooperation ministry report issued on Wednesday, and reported by MENA news agency.
Egypt’s current funding portfolio stood at $25.5 billion by the end of fiscal year 2016-17 in June, including both funds that had been received and used for projects, and funds that had been committed.
The amount of the current portfolio which had been used stood at $16.5 billion by June 2017, compared with $7.9 billion by September 2015.
The amount used between September 2015 and June of this year went primarily to support the budget, with $3.5 billion allocated to reduce the budget deficit.
Egypt's budget deficit decreased to 10.9 percent of GDP in fiscal year 2016-17, down from 12.5 percent the year before.
The government is aiming to reduce the total budget deficit to 4-5 percent of GDP by 2022, Finance Minister Amr El-Garhy said in October.
The funding also supported the electricity sector with $1.75 billion, the housing sector with $585.6 million, and the aviation and transport sector with $507 million, between September 2015 and June 2017.
The agricultural sector also received $392.9 million of the funding.
Egypt had received $4 billion of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan by July this year; the IMF on Wednesday approved the first batch – worth $2.03 billion – of the second tranche of the loan.
The World Bank also approved this month the disbursal to Egypt of a $1.15 billion loan, the last of three annual loans (2015-2017) called Fiscal Consolidation, Sustainable Energy, and Competitiveness Development Policy Financing loans worth a combined $3.15 billion.
The grants and loans boosted Egypt's foreign reserves, which recorded $36.723 billion at the end of November, up from $36.703 billion in October.