World Bank to ramp up support for Egypt

By John O'Hanlon

Speaking at the Egypt Economic Development Conference at Sharm El Sheikh on March 13, World Bank Managing Director Sri Mulyani Indrawati announced that the bank would provide $400 million in financial assistance to support Cairo’s programme to provide low cost housing for Egyptian people.

The World Bank estimates that Egypt will need to build an additional one million homes over the next four years to cope with the increasing demand from its fast growing population. “It is good that Egypt wants to improve its social safety net by expanding its cash transfer system to the poorest members of society,” said Mme Indrawati. “The system Egypt is designing aims to reach an extra half a million households this year and could expand to another one million households over the next two years. The World Bank will provide initial support of US$400 million to this program.”

While housing is badly needed to alleviate the lot of Egypt’s poor, the $400 million pledged is part of a much larger support package from the WB. “Our current portfolio of $5.5 billion will be scaled up and will increase by $4 billion in the next four years. We are preparing projects that strengthen social protection, increase affordable housing and better access to sanitation,” she added.

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