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HoR Approves $1 Bln Development Financing Agreements


Thu 01 Jul 2021 | 12:18 PM
NaDa Mustafa

The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania Al-Mashat announced that the House of Representatives (HoR) approved three of the ministry’s development financing agreements with the World Bank (WBG) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) worth $1 billion to finance the health sector’s Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS) and support the transportation sector via developing the railway network.

Al-Mashat explained that the approved agreements come within the framework of the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation to consolidate economic cooperation and partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners through the principles of Economic Diplomacy, and to support the state’s development priorities and implement Egypt’s Vision 2030; consistent with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The minister elaborated that through the Presidential Directive No. 190 of 2021, the House of Representatives approved the development financing agreement between Egypt and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the lending arm of the World Bank Group, regarding a project to support the UHIS with a development financing worth $400 million.

The House of Representatives also approved the Presidential Directive No. 250 of 2021 between Egypt and IBRD for the development of safe and secure railways, amounting to €362.9 million ($430 million).

Moreover, they also approved the Presidential Directive No. 265 of 2021 regarding the development financing agreements between Egypt and AfDB aiming to modernize the country’s railway network, amounting to €145 million ($172 million).

Al-Mashat stressed the importance of soft development financing in supporting the Government of Egypt’s efforts towards achieving the SDGs. The minister explained that the conditions of soft loans include a 1.5 to 2% interest level and long-term grace and repayment periods.

Al-Mashat shared that despite high demand for development financing globally, and particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Egypt was able to secure necessary financing through its cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners, and through its clear and ambitious reform program and development plans.

The minister has documented Egypt’s experience in development cooperation through her recently launched book, “Stakeholder Engagement through Economic Diplomacy” published by the London School of Economics (LSE).

Al-Mashat showcases Egypt’s experience in international cooperation, sharing with neighboring countries a replicable template on how to utilize multilateralism to foster impactful partnerships. The book also explains how Egypt’s experience was carried out through international standards, and how it was implemented on-ground, by national efforts.

Al-Mashat expressed that Egypt’s Economic Diplomacy is based on three principles; hosting multi-stakeholder platforms that bring all partners at one decision-making table; mapping the ODA to the 17 UN SDGs to identify gaps and align global goals with national priorities; and adopting a Global Partnerships Narrative that forged a common language of communication for unity by placing People at the Core, through Projects in Action, with Purpose as the Driver.

Al-Mashat also applauded the role played by the House of Representatives, at the level of oversight and legislation, to support the state’s efforts in moving forward towards sustainable development.

Last year, the Ministry of International Cooperation held two multi-stakeholder platforms in the transportation and health sectors, which brought together national entities, and all multilateral and bilateral partners, to present financing needs. This contributed to the provision of development funds worth $1.8 billion for developing the infrastructure of transportation, and $477 million for the health sector.