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Sunday, 5 June 2022

We’re closing in on USD 3.5 bn from the ITFC + World Bank to help with food and energy

Egypt is finalizing some USD 3.5 bn in fresh financing from multilateral lenders to shore up food and energy security amid ongoing disruptions to global markets.

First up: We’re getting that USD 3 bn from the ITFC. The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) has raised the ceiling for its financing agreement with Egypt to USD 6 bn from USD 3 bn to help us meet our food and energy needs, according to a statement (pdf). International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat and ITFC CEO Hani Sonbol inked the agreement over the weekend on the sidelines of the Islamic Development Bank’s 2022 annual meetings.

Meanwhile: We’re lining up some USD 500 mn from the World Bank under a food security programme (pdf) that is pending approval from the institution’s board. The bank would provide USD 380 mn to import up to 700k tons of wheat for the bread subsidy program, USD 117.5 mn to raise silo capacity, increase the use of high-yielding types of wheat, and improve climate resilience, and USD 2.5 mn to manage the project.

BACKGROUND: Egypt signed a USD 3 bn agreement with the ITFC in January 2018 to fund the purchase of basic goods and commodities, including petroleum, wheat, and other subsidized food staples. Since then, Egypt has taken out more loans from the corporation, including USD 1.5 bn earlier this year and USD 2.3 bn late last year, both to fund commodity imports.

The IFTC also wants to help us export, inking three agreements over the weekend to set up an export academy, organize trade missions to Africa, and boost SME exports to the rest of the continent. The news comes as Egypt aims increase exports to USD 100 bn a year by 2025 as part of the government’s bid to grow the private sector’s role in the economy. Priority areas include textiles, metals, and construction materials. Exports hit a record USD 32 bn in 2021, up from USD 25.4 bn the year before.

ALSO AT THE ISDB MEETING-

FAB Egypt inked a three-year agreement with IsDB’s private sector development arm to explore joint financing and investment in projects here.

The IsDB’s Islamic Corporation for the Ins. of Investment and Export Credit signed an MoU with Elsewedy Electric to accelerate climate action in the IsDB’s member countries, and an agreement with the Federation of Egyptian Industries to increase trade, investment and local training. (Statement, pdf)

SOUND SMART- This was the first time since 1991 that the IsDB has held its meetings in Egypt. The bank has helped finance some 367 projects in sectors including energy, education, health and industry over a five-decade-long relationship.

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