WASHINGTON, July 2, 2019 – The World Bank announced today an additional financing of US$500 million to support ongoing efforts to expand and improve Egypt’s social safety nets, to ensure they are reaching the most vulnerable households while also building sustainable paths out of poverty.
The additional financing will extend by three years the parent Strengthening Social Safety Nets Project to build on its achievements and expand its scope. Also known as Takaful and Karama, or Solidarity and Dignity, the project’s current coverage stands at approximately 2 million households, which is about 9 million people. The project has reached vulnerable households in all of Egypt’s 27 governorates, with women representing 88% of total beneficiaries to date.
“As Egypt proceeds with the second wave of its economic reform program, we are continuing our commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of all Egyptians. We are also dedicating our efforts to providing Egyptians with sustainable income opportunities,’’ said Dr. Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of Investment and International Cooperation who also represents Egypt on the World Bank’s Board of Governors. “This partnership with the World Bank builds on Takaful and Karama’s success story and is supporting us to achieve our goal of sustainable growth that includes all Egyptians.”
The expanded project will combine boosting the reach and efficiency of Takaful and Karama, with the piloting of economic inclusion models that provide job training for members of poorer households and links to economic opportunities. The economic inclusion pilots will have a special focus on women and youth.
“This project aims to create opportunities for social safety net beneficiaries to climb out of poverty, and accordingly contribute to the inclusive development of Egypt,’’ said Dr. Ghada Waly, Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity, whose ministry will be implementing the expanded project. “Our people are our most precious asset, and our partnership with the World Bank is helping us establish the systems that will enable Egyptians to build their human capital and lead prosperous and productive lives.’’
“Through this project, we are continuing our commitment to Egypt’s human capital development and job creation efforts, which are crucial for the success of its reform program.’’ said Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for Egypt Yemen and Djibouti. “Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth requires pro-active support to move out of poverty.”
The expanded project supports the World Bank’s commitment to promoting human capital development through well targeted and efficient social safety nets. The project is also aligned with the World Bank Group’s Country Partnership Framework for Egypt and the expanded regional strategy for the Middle East and North Africa by promoting sustainable and inclusive growth through skills development and promoting livelihood opportunities for women and youth.
The World Bank program in Egypt supports the country’s robust reforms under three interrelated pillars, defined by the Country Partnership Framework.The first pillar focuses on building Egypt’s human capital, through developing a better education system, implementing health reforms and expanding the country’s social safety nets. The Second pillar, focuses on improving Egypt’s competitiveness through enabling private sector led growth, supporting the country’s transformation to digital economy and catalyzing entrepreneurship for job creation. The third pillar focuses on improving governance and building local governments’ capacity to deliver better services to citizens.
The World Bank portfolio in Egypt comprises 16 projects with a total commitment of US$7.5 billion, complemented by the Bank’s global knowledge and analytical services.