Dr Bandar Hajjar, Chairman of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group stated that the IsDB is currently implementing 57 projects in Egypt totalling $3.8 billion.
He added that the Group is keen on providing the necessary support to Egypt during the Covid-19 pandemic and that he had a recent video conference with Dr Hala Al-Saeed, Minister of Planning and Economic Development and IsDB Governor and Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of the Arab Republic of Egypt to reaffirm the IsDB’s support to Egypt to overcome this global crisis.
During the meeting, the discussions touched upon the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the IsDB’s readiness to provide Egypt with $126 million to support its efforts in combating the pandemic. The IsDB Group also contributed $200 million through the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) to support the Egyptian government in purchasing strategic commodities and make them available on an urgent basis during the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment & Export Credit (ICIEC) are working with all concerned institutions and organisations in Egypt to consider providing the necessary financings to achieve food security and financing micro, small and medium projects to support their working capital.
The Chairman of the IsDB commended the support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Headquarters country, to the IsDB through numerous initiatives aiming at enhancing the role of the IsDB, strengthening its financial position and encouraging it to build effective partnerships with member countries including Egypt. In this regard, he pointed out that Saudi Arabia holds about 1\4 of the IsDB capital and that its efforts helped improve the credit rating of the IsDB and get the highest rating AAA from the main international rating agencies, which increased the IsDB’s capacity to mobilise resources and investments for its member countries.
The Chairman of the IsDB Group also said that the long term IsDB-Egypt partnership resulted in providing Egypt with financings amounting to $12.8 billion to date, distributed as follows:
- Projects financed by the IsDB: $1.9 billion
- Private sector financing operations by the ICD: $230 million
- trade financing operations by the ITFC: $8.9 billion.
Other IsDB funds and programmes contributed financings amounting to about $1.8 billion. In addition, ICIEC provided $2.4 billion in trade transactions insurance, and $3 billion in new insurance commitments.
Answering a question about the main sectors financed by the IsDB in Egypt, H.E President of the IsDB said that energy comes at the front of sectors financed by the IsDB with 19 projects totalling $1.6 billion accounting for 80.7% of IsDB interventions in Egypt. The remaining of the financing is allocated to the urban development, industry and mining and transport sectors, which account for 8.7% of the total IsDB projects ($169 million). IsDB contributions to microfinance institutions and small and medium enterprises account for 4.1% of the total IsDB interventions ($81 million), while the health and education sectors account for 4% ($77.5 million) and 2.4% of the interventions ($47 million) go to the agriculture and irrigation sector in addition to capacity building projects and Islamic finance industry development.
IsDB support to Egypt focuses on the achievement of eight Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that cover poverty and hunger eradication, achieving good health, improving the quality of education, providing clean energy and potable water, crating decent employment opportunities especially for youth and women, creating sustainable infrastructures, assisting industry and the innovation and creativity environment.
Furthermore, the IsDB institutions have also contributed to developing and encouraging the trade and exports sector and supporting the private and the insurance sectors with contributions amounting to more than $13.2 billion.
With regards to future cooperation plans with Egypt, they are based on a new vision that will allow the IsDB to meet development challenges in member countries, carry out the tasks of joining and coordinating efforts; resource mobilisation; using new and innovative means like value chains to stimulate the private sector academic institutions, research centres and civil society organisations; proposing programmes to build an integrated science, technology and innovation system; helping innovators achieve their aspirations by providing them with the appropriate environment and tools that can help them innovate in addition to promoting the participation of local communities in socio-economic development. The IsDB is also working with the IsDB Governor’s office, the International Cooperation Ministry and the concerned parties in Egypt on a programme for economic empowerment for young and female entrepreneurs as well as studying public private partnership projects in the country.