EBRD supports climate finance, entrepreneurship and employment for young people in Egypt
19-12-2019 12:23:00 | by: Pie Kamau | hits: 2181 | Tags:

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt will benefit from a US $ 150 million financing package from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)  to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the country's oldest and largest bank.

A US $ 100 million 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). NBE wants 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. Businesses can identify typical green technologies available in Egypt through the GEFF Technology Selector.

At the same time, the EBRD is also rolling out two new programs in Egypt in cooperation with the NBE. A US $ 30 million loan under the Youth in Business program and a US $ 20 million loan under the Skills in Business program will be able to run into private small businesses in the country.

With high unemployment rates among young people in the Middle East, the two programs will help address challenges faced by both employers and young job seekers. The funds will aim to support training needs and to secure a sustainable talent pipeline by improving employees' skillsets. Together, the two initiatives aim to contribute to building a more inclusive job market and help young businesses gain access to finance in order to grow.

The GEFF program operates through an aggregate network of more than 140 local financial institutions across 26 countries, supported by almost € 4.2 billion of EBRD finance for 130,000 clients since it was founded. These projects have led to annual CO2 emission reductions or more than 7 million tonnes.

The partnership between the GCF and the EBRD has seen the GCF support six EBRD programs with US $ 830 million, mobilizing more than US $ 3.6 billion in total project value. 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. The GEFF loan to NBE combines US $ 25 million or GCF concessional finance with US $ 75 million or EBRD finance.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations there in 2012, the Bank has invested over € 5.5 billion in 102 projects in the country. In 2018 Egypt was the largest economy in which the EBRD invests, in terms of new commitments.