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WB disburses another $1b loan to Egypt

By Reuters - Mar 20,2017 - Last updated at Mar 20,2017

Egyptian women are seen as they buy vegetables in an open-air marketplace in Cairo, Egypt (Anadolu Agency file photo)

CAIRO — The World Bank (WB) has disbursed another $1 billion in financial assistance to Egypt out of its $3 billion loan programme with the country, the bank said in a statement on Monday.

Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from various lenders to help revive an economy hit by political upheaval since a 2011 revolt, and to ease a dollar shortage that has crippled imports and hampered its recovery.

"The government has taken important steps in implementing key policy and institutional reforms that are laying down the foundations for accelerated job creation and inclusive growth," said Asad Alam, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti in the statement.

The World Bank issued the first $1 billion tranche of the loan in 2015, with two more instalments of the same size to follow, linked to additional reforms that the government planned.

Faced with a gaping budget deficit, Egypt began a series of painful economic reforms and has taken steps to lower fuel subsidies, introduced a new value-added tax and let its currency float freely in the foreign exchange market in November to attract foreign inflows.

Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank's vice president for the Middle East and North Africa, told Reuters this month that Cairo's next set of economic reforms should focus on making its bureaucracy more transparent for investors.

 

Egypt expects to receive the second tranche of a $12 billion International Monetary Fund loan in May or June, Finance Minister Amr El Garhy told Reuters last week.

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