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Thursday, 17 October 2019

New USD 500 mn World Bank facility to help Egypt cut pollution?

New USD 500 mn World Bank facility to help Egypt cut pollution? Investment Minister Sahar Nasr met yesterday with World Bank officials in Washington to discuss a potential USD 500 mn facility to help Egypt reduce pollution, according to a ministry statement. Four ministers, including Nasr, had sat down with Regional Director Marina Wes last week to lay out their plans to make their projects more environmentally-friendly. World Bank Group Vice President for MENA Ferid Belhaj, Executive Director Merza Hassan, and Wes also discussed with Nasr other ways that they could work together to improve Egypt’s infrastructure.

We also want money to wean microbuses off diesel fuel: Oil Minister Tarek El Molla also asked World Bank boss David Malpass for financial support for the push to convert microbuses to run on natural gas, a cabinet statement said.

Ministers talk with the new OPIC: A cabinet statement said that Nasr, El Molla, PM Moustafa Madbouly and Trade Minister Amr Nassar met with officials from the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), but didn’t tell us anything about what was discussed. There was an intimation that it could get involved with Egypt’s electricity interconnection projects in Africa, but that was it. The DFC was set up last year to consolidate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and USAID’s Development Credit Authority.

Talks on Ethiopia, US prisoners in Egypt with Pence: Madbouly discussed the ongoing negotiations with Ethiopia over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, as well as the fates of US citizens currently detained in Egypt, with US Vice President Mike Pence.

And in diplomatic miscellany: US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met Madbouly to talk social housing, while ministers met Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and Trade Secretary Wilbur Ross to talk energy investments and the new customs mechanism conversely.

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