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“The results of the first two


loans were impressive –they have made a significant difference to the lives of many thousands of households.” Khalid Al-Zayer,


Senior Country Officer


Building up small business and self-employment


Job creation and poverty alleviation in Egypt’s rural communities


E 18


gypt has experienced robust GDP growth in recent years. Despite this, as in many countries with a fast-growing population, creating jobs remains challenging. The World Bank notes that Egypt’s share of employed people within the working-age


population remains low, at 39 percent – an issue that is likely to be worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. The OPEC Fund has long supported job creation in Egypt.


In 2009 and 2015, the organization approved loans of US$25 million and US$40 million respectively in support of the country’s Social Fund for Development (now known as the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency, or the MSMEDA). The MSMEDA supports the efforts of the government of Egypt to increase the income of the country’s rural population by promoting economically viable and environmentally sustainable economic activities, and reducing unemployment through encouraging self-employment. The first loan was fully disbursed by the MSMEDA via on-lending through local banks and non-governmental organizations. Many micro and small enterprises benefited from improved access to financial means, creating nearly 28,000 jobs in total. The second loan, also administered by MSMEDA, is nearly fully disbursed and has so far financed more than


“We’re grateful to our dedicated partners for making sure our assistance reaches those who need it most.”


Khalid Al-Zayer, Senior Country Officer


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