Sunday, March 22, 2015

World Bank Set to Loan Egypt $500 mn for Housing Project
Ahram Online
Sunday 22 Mar 2015

Negotiations over a $500 million loan has been finalised between Egypt and the World bank, announced minister of housing Mostafa Madbouli in a press statement.

The loan, allocated for the 'social housing' or the 1mn residential units project, will be paid back by Egypt over the course of five years.

The project which has been unveiled late 2014 aims to build 1 million residential units across the country for low-incomers.

According to Madbouli, the NUCA will start implementing a number of residential units on an area less than 90 metres each to suit the citizens' income particularly in new cities in Upper Egyptian governorates.

Last September, the World bank agreed to offer Egypt $1.5 billion (LE 10.5 billion) in financing for social housing and sanitation for villages over a period of three years, housing, utilities and urban development.

The World Bank's commitment to Egypt currently includes 25 projects for a total of US$4.9 billion (LE34.3 billion) as well as 43 trust fund grants worth US$190.2 million (LE1.3 billion) in the sectors of energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture, irrigation, health and education.

The Bank is committed to support the Egyptian government in improving its social safety net by expanding its cash transfer system to the poorest members of society,managing director Sri Mulyani Indrawati said in her speech at Egypt's Economic Development Conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh earlier this month.

Sisi says prosperity essential for adoption of US values of democracy, freedom

Ahram Online, Saturday 21 Mar 2015

In lengthy interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sisi made clear that Egyptian bilateral relations with US would not be altered as a result of the country' s ties with Russia

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reiterated the importance of his country's ties with the US but said that its values of democracy and freedom cannot be adopted by Egypt under the current circumstances.

In a lengthy interview with the Wall Street Journal, El-Sisi refuted suggestions -- fueled by cooperation between his country and Russia -- that Egypt could reduce bilateral relations with the US.

"A country like Egypt will never be mischievous with bilateral relations with America," he said on Friday.

"We will never act foolishly."

El-Sisi described the US as a country that "has the strength, and with that might comes responsibility," while also commenting on the country's role in the Middle East.

"That is why it is committed and has responsibilities toward the whole world. It is not reasonable or acceptable that with all that might the United States will not be committed and have responsibilities toward the Middle East."

"The Middle East is passing through the most difficult and critical time and this will only entail more involvement, not less.”

On Egypt, El-Sisi stressed that he is "very keen" to meet the expectations of liberals, "but the situation in Egypt is overwhelmed."

The US, he said, is a country that "is at the top of progress: cultural, financial, political, civilisational—it’s all there in the US."

US values of democracy and freedom should be honoured, he continued. "But they need the atmosphere where those values can be nurtured. If we can bring prosperity we can safeguard those values not just in words.”

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