Marina Wes, the new country director of the World Bank in Egypt - Photo by Ahmed Maarouf/Egypt Today
CAIRO – 12 September 2019: Egypt signed on Wednesday, Sept. 11 an agreement with the World Bank to finance the second phase of the Social Security Nets Support Project, Takaful and Karama, by $500 million.
The agreement was signed by Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr and Regional Director of the World Bank in Egypt Marina Wes.
Nasr clarified in a press release that the agreement is part of a $8 billion portfolio between Egypt and the World Bank.
She stressed that this project is an important part of the most important indicators to be followed up with the World Bank, which was announced at its annual meetings in Washington, which is investment in human capital.
Nasr expected that all components of this project will contribute to improving the income of Egyptian citizens.
She pointed out that this agreement came within the framework of projects and discussions that took place between President Abdel Fatah al Sisi, and the new president of the World Bank, who chose Egypt as the first destination in the Middle East.
The ministerpointed out that the first phase of Takaful and Karama program contributed to the coverage of about 2 million families, or about 9.5 million citizens, revealing that the project reached beneficiary families in all governorates, and thatwomen represent 88 percent of the total beneficiaries so far.
Based on this additional funding, the project will strengthen the social safety nets for an additional three years based on its achievements and willexpand its geographical scope, Nasrclarified, noting that the second phase is expected to include 12.8 million citizens, to reach 22.3 million.
The minister added that the additional funding will be allocated to develop the productive social protection network and employment program under the name of “Forsa”, and will continue to apply health and education considerations to the beneficiary families.
Meanwhile, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly explained that the signing of a second financing agreement comes to develop the program and works to expand its activities to shift from cash support only to productive support. This is addition to the transfer of assets and sustainable economic activities, which will achieve great returns for the beneficiary families.
Waly noted that the ministry has always worked to benefit from international experiences and practices in this regard, and from the recommendations of the international assessments.
"The objectives of the project have already been achieved in its first phase, and the funding for this phase has ended.We are working to provide highly concessional financing over a long period of more than 35 years, with a grace period of up to 5 years," Minister Waly stressed.
For his part, the regional director of the World Bank in Egypt explained,“Through this project, we will continue our commitment to support Egypt's efforts to develop human capital and create jobs, which are essential for the success of its reform program.”
Wes pointed out that the project reflects the World Bank's commitment to promoting human capital development through effective social safety nets targeting eligible groups.
She said the project came in line with the World Bank Group's partnership with Egypt and the expanded regional strategy for the Middle East and North Africa to promote sustainable and inclusive growth through development of skills and livelihood opportunities for women and youth.