CAIRO: Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby signed Saturday for a $300 million loan from the World Bank to finance micro and small enterprises, Youm7 reported.
Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali, head of the Social Fund for Development Hanaa al-Hilaly along with the Egyptian ambassador to the U.S. Mohammed Tawfik attended the signing in Washington.
State-run MENA reported that 60 percent of the loan would be in the form of a grant, and the remainder would be repaid over a term of 27 years.
During the meeting, Al Arabi confirmed the role played by the WB in developing countries such Egypt, pointing out that the WB’s net finance for MSEs and infrastructure amounts at $4.5billion, MENA said.
“An inclusive financial system can play a key role in creating jobs and unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of innovative young Egyptians,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, in an April 1 statement announcing the approval of the loan, adding “The project will enhance sustainable and inclusive access to finance and foster innovation.”
The World Bank predicted that the project would benefit up to 130,000 small businesses, with as many as 37 percent of them owned by women.
This is the first loan to Egypt from the World Bank since the events of June 30.
Additional reporting by Samah Hamdy