The world Bank approved a US$500 million loan to support Egypt’s efforts to improve the resilience of the agricultural sector.
The loans will see the establishment of the Emergency Food Security and Resilience Support Project, which aims to reduce the overall impact of the conflict in Ukraine on food and nutrition security in Egypt.
The Russian Federation and Ukraine are the world’s largest wheat exporters, and the war has driven up prices and created nutritional deficiencies, especially for people who depend on bread for their daily nutritional needs.
In line with Egypt’s national reforms aimed at reclaiming more agricultural land and transforming the sector which is a major driver of the economy and provides 57% of the population, the project will finance the public purchase of one month of supply of imported wheat for the bread subsidy. Program, which supports around 70 million low-income Egyptians, including around 31 million people living below the national poverty line.
The project will also support national efforts to reduce waste and losses in the wheat supply chain by upgrading and expanding climate-resilient wheat silos, sustainably improving national grain production, and strengthening food preparation and processing. Egypt’s resilience to future shocks.
Since 2014, Egypt has expanded its investments in the National Silos Project, which aims to build 50 grain and wheat storage silos in 17 governorates and has increased the country’s storage capacity from 1.2 million tons to 3.4 million tonnes between 2014 and 2018.
“This project supports the strong commitment of the government to ensure that the needs of citizens continue to be met, even in the difficult global context caused by several crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine. In addition to ensuring sustainable food security, a vital element for the well-being of citizens, this project supports national climate efforts which also aim to improve the quality of life of Egyptians,” said Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
This loan is also expected to support Egypt by mobilizing immediate short-term assistance to address supply and price shocks while simultaneously strengthening the country’s longer-term food security strategy and improving the nutrition of poor and vulnerable.