World Bank to fund $500M natural gas project in Upper Egypt
The World Bank headquarters - AP/Lawrence Jackson
By AHMED ABU SHADY

CAIRO: The World Bank is set to fund $500 million to promote natural gas use for the Aswan, Minya and Asyut governorates in Upper Egypt, Hisham Abu Daqah, a deputy regional manager for the World Bank, told CBC Extra television Saturday.

The French Agency for Development (AFD) along with the European Union will contribute an additional $150 million-$200 million to the project, set to begin in July.

The goal of the project is to provide temporary and sustainable job opportunities and promote sustainable development, Abu Daqah added.

The World Bank also hopes to promote natural gas as a low cost alternative for butane gas and electricity in poorer areas.

Abu Daqah said Egypt is the World Bank’s largest partner in the Middle East, with a finance portfolio of up to $4.2 billion scattered across 25 projects in energy, education, health and social care.

A joint mission of the World Bank and Egyptian officials visited Aswan governorate Sunday to assess the promised investments in the region and private sector participation in the development projects, Al-Bawaba news reported.

Peter Mousely, a Middle East and North Africa expert with the World Bank announced during the visit a World Bank five-year program for developing Upper Egypt.

The program includes holding workshops and gathering donors and companies in investment, marketing and banking to focus on development. The program will be focused on tourism, agriculture, industry and fishing, he said.

Former President Adly Mansour approved at the beginning of June a syndicated loan between Egypt and the World Bank valued at $300 million to finance micro and small enterprises, Youm7 reported.

The $300 million loan was initially signed between Egypt and World Bank officials in Washington D.C. on April 12.

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