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Egypt has received the second $500 million tranche of a $1.5 billion loan package from the African Development Bank (AfDB), Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said in a statement late Friday.

 

The AfDB loan is intended to support government programmes that aim to achieve social and economic development by creating new jobs and improving the business environment.

 

Nasr signed the deal to receive the first $500 million tranche of the AfDB loan in December 2015, while the deal for the second tranche signed in December 2016.

 

The loan is set to be delivered over three years.

The minister said that receiving the second tranche confirms that "the Egyptian economy is steadily moving towards sustainable development."

 

She added that this fund will support the most underdeveloped areas in Egypt, as well as small and micro-sized enterprises.

 

Leila El-Mokadem, the AfDB’s representative in Egypt, expressed her happiness with working with the Egyptian government to enhance and support the country's economy and development and improve the living standards of its citizens.

 

El-Mokkadem also confirmed that the bank aims to continue its partnership with Egypt in 2017 to deliver the third and final tranche of the fund, also worth $500.

 

Last week, the World Bank delivered to Egypt the second $1 billion tranche of a $3 billion loan to support the government’s economic reform programme, with the funds intended for fiscal consolidation, ensuring energy supply and enhancing competitiveness in the private sector.

 

In November 2016, Egypt received an initial $2.75 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) following the board’s approval for a $12 billion loan.

 

Egypt's economic reform programme has included cutting subsidies and the introduction of new taxes, such as the value-added tax, as well as the floating of the Egyptian pound.

 

Egypt's economy has been struggling since 2011 due to a sharp drop in tourism and foreign investment, two main sources of hard currency for the import-dependent country.

 

The country's foreign reserves stood at $26,541 million by the end of February.

 

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