The cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the World Bank Group (WBG) currently amounts to about $8bn, according to a Ministry of International Cooperation press statement released on Tuesday.
The statement came on the sidelines of Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the WBG Rania Al-Mashat’s participation in the Development Committee (DC), a ministerial-level forum of the WBG and International Monetary Fund (IMF). The DC represents 189 member countries with the two international organisations, and focuses on intergovernmental consensus-building on development issues.
During the meeting, the committee discussed laying the foundations for a resilient recovery, as the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has resulted in the largest global economic contraction in 80 years.
The pandemic has affected all economies worldwide, causing a substantial decrease in investments, trade and remittance flows. It has also threatened the lives and livelihoods of all social segments.
The committee commended the WBG and IMF for their prompt response to the pandemic, and urged continued work with member countries. This would cover the public and private sectors, local and bilateral development partners, and other international organisations.
It noted that the WBG has implemented financing projects worth $45bn in the fourth quarter (Q4) of fiscal year (FY) 2019/20 related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Operations have been carried out through the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IRBD), the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
Additionally, the committee expressed its support for the WBG’s focus on health, social and economic responses, noting that the group plays a critical role in responding to major global challenges. It added that it is through cooperation in rebuilding stronger and better, that countries can fulfil their mission of ending poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
The committee stressed the importance of finding an effective COVID-19 vaccine as it is the world’s most promising path to safely reopen the economy. In this regard, the World Bank Group has announced plans to provide up to $12bn to developing countries, so that they can purchase and distribute vaccines when they are made available.
The next meeting of the Development Committee is scheduled for 10 April 2021 in the US capital, Washington, DC.
Minister Al-Mashat participated in the World Bank Groups’s meeting for Governors of Arab countries, alongside the group’s President David Malpass. During the meeting, she called on international institutions to adopt ‘blended financing’, in order to merge public and private funds to mobilise private capital flows to emerging and frontier markets.
Earlier, Malpass praised Egypt’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that the country had allocated EGP 100bn to finance a comprehensive plan for its economic recovery, and implement precautionary measures to protect the population from the virus.