The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced a new financial package of $150m for the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the country’s oldest and largest bank, according to a Monday statement from the EBRD.
A $100m loan will be provided to the NBE under the EBRD’s Green Economy Financing Facility (GEFF) Egypt, co-financed by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the statement said, noting that NBE will on-lend funds to SMEs for investments in high-performing technologies that improve the use of energy, water, and land resources.
Potential projects include developing technologies such as thermal insulation, photovoltaic solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and water-efficient irrigation systems, mentioned the statement.
The EBRD is also rolling out two new programmes in Egypt in cooperation with the NBE, which are a $30m loan under the Youth in Business programme and a $20m loan under the Skills in Business programme. These will be on-lent to private small businesses in the country.
With high unemployment rates among young people in the Middle East, the two programmes will help address challenges faced by both employers and young job seekers, the statement asserted.
The funds will support training needs and secure a sustainable talent pipeline by improving employees’ skillsets. Together, the two initiatives aim to contribute to building a more inclusive job market and to help young businesses gain access to finance in order to grow.
The GEFF programme operates through an aggregate network of more than 140 local financial institutions across 26 countries, supported by almost €4.2bn of EBRD finance for 130,000 clients since it began. These projects have led to annual carbon dioxide emission reductions of more than 7m tonnes.
The GCF is the largest climate fund in the world and supports the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change.
Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations there in 2012, the EBRD has invested over €5.5bn in 102 projects in the country. In 2018, Egypt was the largest economy in which the EBRD invests, in terms of new commitments.