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    A financing package is set to help SMEs in Egypt facing economic challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), of which Egypt is a founding member, has made a US$100 million loan available to the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to enable it to provide short-term loans to SMEs and firms facing liquidity strains.

    The EBRD is also increasing an existing uncommitted trade finance limit for NBE under the Trade Facilitation programme by US$100 million, bringing the total to US$300 million – this will be used to help meet the increased demand for import and export transactions.

    As Jurgen Rigterink, EBRD first VP notes, ‘strengthening this segment [SMEs] of the Egyptian economy has never been more important than during this crisis’. NBE chairman Hisham Okasha adds that ‘this new facility, under the EBRD’s Solidarity Package, targets a crucial segment of the economy, which we will continue to support, thus ensuring its resilience’.

    In addition, the EBRD has signed a US$150 million package to support youth in business, skills in business and green climate financing.

    30 June 2020
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images