The World Bank (WB) is eyeing further cooperation on development programmes with its strategic partner Egypt, said WB Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Marina Wes.
Wes was speaking at a meeting on Sunday with Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat. They discussed the anticipated budget support finance that Egypt will receive from the WB to support the country’s development plans during the current FY 2020/2021 and its structural reform programme.
The WB’s development policies finance mission to Egypt started working in the country on 10 November.
The mission is conducting meetings with a number of Egyptian ministries and concerned bodies to discuss the structural reforms the Egyptian government is implementing in FY 2020/2021, in the second wave of the country’s economic reform that targets bolstering its economic growth and boosting recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mission’s meetings are focusing on maintaining the fruits of Egypt’s macroeconomy, enhancing the Egyptian women's ability to obtain economic opportunities, improving infrastructure sector management, and boosting private sector participation in development process.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat asserted the importance of structural reform policies in attaining a sustainable, flexible economic recovery that can help the economy become more resilient to likely future shocks.
She added that Egypt’s economic reform programme, that had been implemented from 2016 through 2019, enabled the country to absorb shocks and reinforce its development plans efficiently.
The meetings are being held with seven ministries and four bodies, including the Central Bank of Egypt and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, according to the Ministry of International Cooperation.
The WB's Development Policy Financing (DPF) is meant to help borrower countries achieve sustainable poverty reduction through a programme of policy and institutional actions, including strengthening public financial management, improving the investment climate, addressing bottlenecks to improve service delivery, and diversifying the economy, according to the WB.
This represents a shift away from the short-term macroeconomic stabilisation and trade liberalisation reforms of the 1980s-90s towards more medium-term institutional reforms, said the WB.
The bank makes the funds available to the client upon maintenance of an adequate macroeconomic policy framework, as determined by the bank with inputs from the International Monetary Fund assessments, satisfactory implementation of the overall reform programme, and the completion of a set of critical mutually agreed upon policy and institutional actions (prior actions) between the bank and the client, according to the World Bank.
The current cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the WB amounts to around $6 billion over 10 sectors, including education, health, and housing.
In 2020, Egypt signed four agreements with the bank in health, social housing, protection from COVID-19, and environment, all worth $1.15 billion.