Egypt Watch

Egyptian parliament about to approve new EUR 345 million loans

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives Transport and Communications Committee approved two loans worth 345 million euros from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the French Agency for developing the metro and railway network.

In September, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development announced $1 billion in financing to Egypt to cover a tenth of its needs to produce 10 gigawatts of wind energy by 2028 and $300 million to help it stop operating gas-powered plants totalling 5 gigawatts.

The financing will include adding storage batteries, developing the local supply chain for renewable energy, and retraining workers, said Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region at EBRD. EBRD differs from other international development banks, given its political role, which obligates it to lend to countries that are committed to or are moving towards democracy, the rule of law and the independence of civil society. However, the Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) said that despite the military’s control, Egypt had been the largest recipient of EBRD loans in the past three years.

“Over the past decade, Egypt has received more than €8 billion in cumulative investments from the bank, despite the clear and continuing deterioration of the human rights and the rule of law situation,” said Leslie Piquemal, Senior EU Advocacy Representative at CIHRS. Piquemal added that the bank’s assessment of the situation in Egypt should lead to a change in its approach and pressure the country to ensure meaningful reforms are implemented.