The program is designed to stimulate job creation, promote economic growth, and address gender disparities in financing.
Egypt's state-owned Banque Misr has secured a $234 million loan from the International Financial Corporation (IFC), the financial arm of the World Bank. The purpose of this loan is to provide financing to privately-owned micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Egypt.
The program is designed to stimulate job creation, promote economic growth, and address gender disparities in financing. Half of the loan's value from IFC will be allocated to women-owned MSMEs, marking the IFC's first gender-focused investment in a public sector bank in Egypt. The funding includes contributions from the IFC and its Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Programme One Planet, along with concessional funding through the IFC's Global SME Finance Facility.
Banque Misr intends to use the loan to expand its portfolio of women-led SME clients and offer them advisory services and mentorship through its ZAAT program. In 2023, this initiative has already introduced financial services to over 55,000 women entrepreneurs. The partnership between Banque Misr and the IFC is seen as a significant step in enhancing access to SME banking services across Egypt, contributing to economic development.
This announcement was made at the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Annual Meetings held in Marrakech. The IFC has a substantial investment portfolio in Egypt, focusing on various sectors, including finance, infrastructure, and gender inclusion. The IFC's investment in Egypt totals $7 billion, with $3.2 billion invested since 2018. Furthermore, the World Bank Group approved a new Country Partnership Framework (CPF) for Egypt in March, outlining a strategy for the country from FY2023 to FY2027, including financing packages worth $7 billion.
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