CAIRO Dec 20 The World Bank's board of
executive directors approved on Tuesday a second $1 billion
disbursement from a $3 billion loan to Egypt to support its
economic reform programme.
Egypt has been negotiating billions of dollars in aid from
various lenders to help revive an economy hit by political
upheaval since a 2011 revolt and to ease a dollar shortage that
has crippled imports and hampered its recovery.
"We are pleased to continue supporting the country's
ambitious program of reforms with a strong focus on job creation
and boosting the competitiveness of Egyptian businesses," said
Asad Alam, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and
The World Bank told Reuters last year the first tranche of
the loan was focused on "10 prior actions for policy and
institutional reforms" already implemented. The second and third
tranches are linked to additional reforms the government plans.
Facing a gaping budget deficit, Egypt began a series of
painful economic reforms and has been taking steps to lower fuel
subsidies, introduce a new value-added tax (VAT) and free-float
its currency to attract foreign inflows.
Last month the International Monetary Fund approved a
three-year $12 billion loan to support Egypt's economic reforms.
It has disbursed an initial tranche of $2.75 billion and said
the rest will be phased in over the duration of the programme.
On Dec. 13 the board of the African Development Bank also
approved the payment of a $500 million loan to Egypt, its second
of three expected disbursals.
(Reporting by Lin Noueihed; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing
by Gareth Jones)