Wed, 23 Dec 2020 - 01:12 GMT
ESCWA logo - Official website
CAIRO - 22 December 2020: The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, represented by Dr. Ahmed Kamali, Deputy Minister of Planning, attended a meeting by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) on the "Debt Swap Initiative for Climate Finance and the Sustainable Development Goals in the Arab Region", via video conference.
Kamali referred to the importance of the debt swap initiative, especially in light of the increase in the global financial gap as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, especially in developing and emerging economies. He noted that Egypt has formed a public debt management committee to evaluate foreign loan offers and monitor the debt situation.
The official highlighted that debt swap is an effective measure to reduce the debt burden on countries and at the same time achieve sustainable development goals, indicating that debts can be converted into grants or investments, pointing out that the Egyptian state prefers investments.
Kamali emphasized that Egypt is implementing debt swap programmes with Italy and Germany. However, the ratio of debt swap is still very small compared to the size of the external debt.
Egypt is implementing a debt swap programme with Germany over three phases. Those are worth €70 million, €90 million, and €80 million, respectively.
The second phase focuses on education, clean water and sanitation, energy, infrastructure sectors and promoting employment. The third phase targets technical and vocational education and supporting job creation.
As for Italy, the debt swap programme is worth $100 million to be directed at food security, NGOs, education, higher education, agriculture, environment, and preserving the cultural heritage. In order to implement the programme, 20 deals were signed between both countries earlier in December.