“In Egypt, we're working on various country programs that would increase the productivity. Egypt faces challenges in the agriculture sector, in the logistics sector, in the tourism sector, in electricity, that they're making progress on, that we're working with them on, and I think there can be more focused effort that will extend to health care, as well”, he explained
Malpass made his comments in response to an Ahram Online question on how the WBG has been supporting Egypt’s health sector through 2021.
The question came during the virtual press briefing Malpass held on Wednesday from Washingotn DC, on the sidelines of the annual meeting between the WBG and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which kicked off on Monday.
In this regard, the International Bank For Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), one of WBG’s financing arms, has provided $400 million to Egypt’s Universal Health Insurance system, out of the project's total cost of $2.4 billion.
On climate action, Malpass said that WBG has dedicated 35 percent of the total global commitments for actions that tackle climate change and enhance the green transformation.
Globally, Malpass said that the world is suffering from a dramatically uneven recovery.
“Inequality is worsening across country groups. Per capita income in advanced economies is growing nearly five percent in 2021, but that is compared to only 0.5% in low-income countries,” he explained.
The outlook remains grim for most developing countries, which are suffering high inflation and unemployment as well as witnessing shortages that extend to food, water and electricity, according to Malpass.
In addition, Malpass stated that factory and port shutdowns are worsening the bottlenecks in logistics and supply chains.
“We see sharp increases in the backlog of orders. Our estimates suggest that 8.5 percent of global container shipping is stalled in or around ports. That's twice as much as in January of 2020. These disruptions are placing sharp price increases on shipping fees, and the final costs of goods, and some of them will not be transitory. It would take time and cooperation of policymakers across the world to sort them out,” he explained.
The WBG is preparing a new Country Partnership Framework 2021–2025 that concentrates on job creation and inclusion as the core themes when addressing government priorities and new challenges.
The World Bank's (WB) outlook on Egypt's economy, announced within the ongoing annual meetings event, said that the slow vaccination rate, the emergence of the Delta-variant and the resurgence of COVID-19 cases could threaten the country’s recovery.
Yet, under the WB’s baseline scenario that assumes that the pandemic continues to ease, and lockdown measures are not reinstated, Egypt’s growth is projected to rise from 3.3 percent in FY2020/2021 to five percent in FY2021/2022 thanks to favourable base effects and global growth.
As Egypt’s WB governor, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat participated in annual meetings’ events.
During the G-24 Ministers and Governors meeting held on Wednesday, Al-Mashat emphasized the need for International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and development partners to strengthen their role in resetting the green economic recovery paths for developing countries, which were affected by the uncertainty that came with the COVID-19 pandemic’s repercussions and led to the volatility of global financial markets.
Al-Mashat stated that IFIs need to increase soft development funds and to provide more financial and technical support for developing countries to boost their progress towards green transformation, adding that there has become an urgent need for financial resources and rational investments to combat climate change, which in turn shall reduce emissions, enhance adaptation to the impacts faced, and build resilience.
The minister asserted the importance of adopting innovative financing tools such as blended financing, which strengthens the public-private dialogue and stimulates impact investments to pave the way towards bridging the SDGs financing gap that amounts to $3.7 trillion, and achieving green transformation.