Egypt's parliament approved two international agreements with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), a financial arm of the World Bank, and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD).
The agreements total $743 million and they target financing housing projects and establishing a wastewater system in the Bahr Al-Baqar area, Minister of International Cooperation Rania El-Mashat announced on Wednesday.
El-Mashat said the IBRD agreement aims at strengthening the capacity of the Social Housing Fund and supporting real estate financing through boosting coordination between the concerned authorities, establishing an improved information management system, a structure for sound financial management and government and enhancing evaluation, monitoring and credit capacity, as well as providing support to lower-income families.
The portfolio of ongoing projects with the IBRD includes 16 projects worth $4.8 billion in diverse sectors, such as social housing, health, education, local development, social protection, sanitation, petroleum, transportation, and the environment.
She added the AFESD agreement was signed in June for 75 million Kuwaiti dinars ($243.2 million) and aims to finance the construction of Bahr Al-Baqar drainage water system in the Sinai Peninsula.
"To improve the lives of communities in Sinai, the project puts environmental sustainability at the heart of development through providing clean water and ensuring the protection of marine and coastal ecosystems in a sustainable manner against pollution. On top of that, it also helps build sustainable cities and communities through providing additional 100,000 job opportunities to help sustain families and improve the services provided to the population," said El-Mashat.
The estimated cost of the project to establish the Bahr Al-Baqar Bank system is about $1 billion, and the Ministry of International Cooperation signed three previous agreements within the same framework, one of which id worth 70 million Kuwaiti dinars ($238 million) with the AFESD, and two agreements for 75 million Kuwaiti dinars ($255 million) with the Kuwait Fund for Development.
ThevMinistry of International Cooperation launched the “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” multi-stakeholder platform in April 2020, prioritising cooperation between international development partners as well as the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Ministry of International Cooperation aims to revive international cooperation for the benefit of humanity, focusing on three pillars: People at the Core, Projects in Action and Purpose as the Driver, El-Mashat noted.
To put "people at the core", the ministry has been implementing projects in multiple sectors by signing the first agreement with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, a member of the World Bank Group, last July, for $500 million as additional financing for the comprehensive programme to fund the housing project. This aims to primarily improve the lives of low-income people and give them adequate housing, which helps to achieve the first goal of SDGs related to poverty eradication, and the 11th goal related to establishing sustainable cities and communities, said El-Mashat.