Egypt is expected to sign a financing agreement worth $500 million with the World Bank next week to support the Upper Egypt Local Development Program, after the bank's board approved the program.
In a statement published on the international cooperation ministry's website, International Cooperation Minister Sahar Nasr said the agreement, which will be signed on the sidelines of the World Bank Annual Meetings scheduled to be held in Washington which she is chairing, will focus on Qena and Sohag governorates and on delivering services to lagging regions, providing youth and women with job opportunities and improving infrastructure.
Qena and Sohag are two of the poorest governorates in Egypt.
According to the ministry's statement, the program aims to "enhance competitiveness of economic sectors with unrealized potentials, support industrial zone management, apply a performance-based grant system and increase the budget of both governorates."
This program comes within the framework of the bank's Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for 2015–19, which provides about $8 billion for supporting Egypt's economy, the statement read.
The World Bank finances several projects in Egypt, including projects related to energy, transport, water and wastewater, agriculture and irrigation, population and health, and social safety nets; as well as supporting employment-intensive projects and financing small- and medium-sized enterprises.
In early September, the international lender has provided Egypt with the first $1 billion tranche of a total $3 billion loan, which is planned to be delivered over three years to fund "labor-intensive projects and achieving sustainable economic development."
The current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 26 projects for a total commitment of $5.92 billion, according to the bank's website.