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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Egypt lands USD 530 mn World Bank loan for healthcare

Egypt, World Bank ink healthcare loan: Speaking of long-term borrowing, Egypt and the World Bank signed a USD 530 mn loan agreement to support Egypt’s healthcare system on Tuesday, according to a statement from the Madbouly cabinet. The loan will fund a series of ambitious healthcare programs, including the survey and free treatment of Hepatitis C victims, upgrading hospitals in the first phase of the roll out of the new universal healthcare system, and some help with family planning initiatives. The World Bank had pledged the funding earlier this month.

This comes as the government is close to closing USD 2 bn in new financing from the World Bank that Egypt requested during an ongoing visit by a WB team, sources told us earlier this week. While nothing official has been released by the government, state-owned Al Ahram has picked up our story, citing their own sources as saying the funding would run through 2022. They added that some USD 1 bn of he funding would be used for Sinai Development.

Meanwhile, Investment Minister Sahar Nasr sat down with the WB team for follow up talks on a USD 500 mn loan request to fund social housing development, according to a ministry statement. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly made the request at a meeting on Monday. The local press is also speculating that Nasr is planning further talks with the IMF on additional assistance at the (rather far away) IMF and World Bank spring meetings. It would surprise us if she wasn’t planning to do so — don’t read to much into this last bit.

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