World Bank earmarks $1 billion support for Egypt’s private sector

The World Bank on Tuesday announced a new $1 billion programme designed to support Egypt’s private sector and create new jobs.

The new programme will build on a series of annual loans totaling $3.15 billion that the World Bank issued from 2015 to 2017 to support Egypt’s economic reforms, the bank said in a statement.

It will encourage promote small businesses, Egypt’s biggest source of jobs, while improving government performance and promoting local development, it added.

“Egypt has undertaken historical economic reforms over last four years and the priority now is to create jobs for all Egyptians during this next critical phase of the reform programme,” said Samia Msadek, acting World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti.

“The focus on improving the availability of finance, developing entrepreneurship and transparency in tax filings and government procurement would help the small and unconnected businesses thrive and create jobs.” Msadek added.

The programme is focused on reforms to improve the business environment, with an emphasis on ensuring small businesses have access to finance and new financial technology such as digital payments. It also aims to ensure small business have access to opportunities to bid for government contracts; while empowering local governorates and districts for local investment planning.

Egypt’s Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr said the programme is especially targeting young people and women in less developed areas.

The World Bank currently has a portfolio of 16 projects in Egypt with a total commitment of $6.69 billion, the bank said.

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