World bank disburses another $1 billion loan to Egypt


UPDATE 2-World bank disburses another $1 billion loan to Egypt

(Adds minister's statement)
    CAIRO, March 20 (Reuters) - The World Bank has disbursed
another $1 billion in financial assistance to Egypt out of its
$3 billion loan programme with the country, the bank said in a
statement on Monday.
    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.
    "The government has taken important steps in implementing
key policy and institutional reforms that are laying down the
foundations for accelerated job creation and inclusive growth,"
said Dr. Asad Alam, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen
and Djibouti in the statement.
    The World Bank issued the first $1 billion tranche of the
loan in 2015, with two more instalments of the same size to
follow, linked to additional reforms that the government
    Faced with a gaping budget deficit, Egypt began a series of
painful economic reforms and has taken steps to lower fuel
subsidies, introduced a new value-added tax (VAT) and let its
currency float freely in the foreign exchange market in November
to attract foreign inflows.
    Sahar Nasr, Egypt's minister of investment and international
cooperation, said in a statement that the second tranche will
help spur private sector investment and development projects and
services, which should help improve people's standard of living.
    Hafez Ghanem, the World Bank's vice president for the Middle
East and North Africa, told Reuters this month that Cairo's next
set of economic reforms should focus on making its bureaucracy
more transparent for investors.[nL5N1GL4TH]
    Egypt expects to receive the second tranche of a $12 billionInternational Monetary Fund loan in May or June, Finance
Minister Amr El-Garhy told Reuters last week.[nL5N1GT0S6]

 (Reporting by Lin Noueihed; Additional reporting by Ehab
Farouk; Writing by Amina Ismail; Editing by Hugh Lawson)
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