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Press Release
25 Sept 03 - USAID, Egyptian Bank Create Major 'Green Loan' Fund

New DCA method of financing will launch ventures in clean energy, sustainable tourism

Cairo, Egypt, September 25, 2003 -- In a unique public-private partnership that will increase the availability of credit for Egyptian businesses, the United States is joining National Socit Gnrale Bank (NSGB) in creating a major loan fund that will finance business ventures with environmental benefits.

The loans, in Egyptian pounds equivalent to $10 million, will help businesses create jobs and capitalize on Egypts natural advantages - abundant natural gas and attractive tourist destinations - while at the same time addressing serious environmental problems such as air pollution and overdevelopment.

These so-called green loans will help Egypt achieve its goals of creating jobs to increase prosperity for the Egyptian people and preserving the natural treasures that make Egypt special, said Kenneth C. Ellis, Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development in Egypt (USAID/Egypt).

USAID Director Ellis and NSGB Board Chairman Mohamed Madbouly officially created the fund at a signing ceremony with Dr. Mamdouh Riad, Egypts Minster of State for Environmental Affairs and Engineer Mohamed Tawila, Chairman of the Natural Gas Holding Company.

The loans will be made available to private Egyptian businesses for ventures in the areas of:
Natural gas conversion that adapts vehicles, boilers, furnaces or other machinery to run on natural gas instead of liquid fuel oil.
Energy efficiency such as co-generation projects that use the heat produced by burning natural gas.
Ecotourism such as eco-lodges and diving safaris that highlight Egypts natural beauty and minimize damage to the environment.
Qualifying borrowers will be privately owned businesses including industrial firms, tourism developers, tour and dive operators, energy service companies, or leasing companies.

USAID/Egypt is enabling NSGB to make the lU.s.oans by providing a partial guarantee through a special program new to Egypt, the Development Credit Authority (DCA). This is the first time we have used the DCA mechanism in Egypt, but we are optimistic that successes in this area will lead to new partnerships in the future that will put DCA loans in the hands of more Egyptian business people, Ellis said. For more information about this loan program, contact NSGB Head of Trade Finance Mohamed A. El-Antably by telephone at 770-7811, fax at 770-7799, or e-mail at mohamed.antably@socgen.com.

To download a report (Microsoft Word file) describing how Development Credit Authority loans backed by USAID will help the Egyptian private sector address Egypt's pressing environmental problems, click here.

The U.S. through USAID has spent nearly $157 million since 1975 on helping Egypt improve its management of the environment and natural resources and provided $100.5 million in budget support to encourage environmentally positive policies. Assistance is currently focused on urban and industrial environmental protection, Red Sea natural resources, and conservation of energy and Nile River water. For more information about USAID environmental projects in Egypt, click here.
This document was last updated on Thursday, October 21, 2004
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