Egypt Secures $500 Million World Bank Development Financing

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved Tuesday a $500 million loan to boost Egypt’s efforts to ensure that poor and vulnerable households have uninterrupted access to bread, strengthen Egypt’s resilience to food insecurity and to bolster policies to improve nutritional outcomes.

In a statement on Wednesday, the bank said that the Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project will assist in cushioning the impact of the war in Ukraine on food and nutrition security in Egypt. 

Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation.

The Russian Federation and Ukraine are the world’s biggest exporters of wheat, and the war has driven up prices and created nutritional shortfalls, particularly for people who rely on bread for their daily nutritional needs.

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Bread is a staple in Egypt and most of North Africa. This new project links wheat imports to direct assistance to the vulnerable population through Egypt’s Bread Subsidy Program, according to the bank.

“This project supports the government’s strong commitment to ensuring that the needs of citizens continue to be met even amid a very challenging global context caused by concomitant crises such as COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine,” said Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation.

Bread Subsidy Program supports around 70 million low-income Egyptians

“In addition to ensuring sustained food security, this project supports national climate efforts by increasing agricultural resilience.”

According to the statement, the project will fund the public procurement of imported wheat, equivalent to one month of supply for the Bread Subsidy Program which supports around 70 million low-income Egyptians, including approximately 31 million people under the national poverty line. 

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The World bank project includes climate change efforts through a variety of interventions, including investments to modernise wheat silos in order to significantly reduce wheat waste and loss, as well as introducing farmer extension and training programs that promote climate-smart agricultural practices.

On May 18, the World Bank announced actions it plans to take as part of a comprehensive, global response to the ongoing food security crisis, with up to $30 billion in existing and new projects in areas such as agriculture, nutrition, social protection, water and irrigation.


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