Egypt, Italy extend third-phase $100 mln debt swap programme

Muhammed Khalid , Monday 15 May 2023

Egypt and Italy signed mutual letters to extend the third phase of a $100 million debt swap programme for development projects until December 2024, read a statement by the Ministry of International Cooperation on Monday.



The third phase of the debt swap programme includes implementing development projects in the fields of environment, agriculture, food security, education, cultural heritage, and civil society.

The food security projects in the third phase include developing wheat silos and information technology management systems to the tune of EGP 416.7 million in investments.

The third phase, signed in 2012, covers a project for solid waste management in Minya worth EGP 70.5 million.

The first phase of the project was signed in 2001 with a value of $149 million used to fund 54 projects in Upper Egypt, while the second phase was signed in 2007 and totalled $100 million which were injected into 32 projects in different areas.

Debt swap for development

Debt swap programmes incorporate agreements using debt owed to Egypt's development partners to fund a series of projects.

Egypt is implementing seven debt swap programmes with a total value of $100 million, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat stated in September 2022.

Germany announced last year that it will support Egypt's Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE) programme with €100 million ($108.74 million) in debt swaps.

In a speech to the UN, Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry called for the development of debt swap programmes to alleviate the debt crisis of developing countries.

Egypt's debt has been exacerbated since the eruption of the Ukraine-Russia conflict in February 2022. According to the Central Bank of Egypt, Egypt’s external debt reached $154.9 billion in the 1Q of FY 2022/2023 (July-September 2022).

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