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Egyptian electric train project gets IsDB green light

Islamic Development Bank IsDB board IsDB
The board of the Islamic Development bank approved funding for an Egyptian electric train project, among others

The Islamic Development Bank has approved $344.5 million in financing towards the first phase of the planned Egyptian electric train system.

The 660 km railway will connect Egypt’s port cities of Alexandria and Marsa Matrouh on the Mediterranean with Ain Sokhna on the Red Sea.

The Egyptian electric train project is expected to benefit 25 million people and reduce annual carbon emissions by about 250,000 tonnes.

The project was one of three, worth $403 million in total, to be granted approval by executive directors during the 350th meeting of the IsDB board.

IsDB president and chairman of the board Dr Muhammad Al Jasser, said: “The transformative projects approved in this board meeting will have a significant impact on improving transportation, education, and energy, as well as promoting regional economic integration and addressing emergency situations. 

“The IsDB group remains committed to supporting its member countries in their pursuit of prosperity and resilience, particularly during these challenging times.”

Cross-border energy

The board also approved an additional $13 million worth of funding for the Central Asia South Asia electricity transmission and trade project in Kyrgyzstan. 

IsDB had originally approved $50 million towards the project, which aims to meet electricity demand in Afghanistan and Pakistan by setting up cross-border energy exchange among four of the bank’s member countries. 

Once operational, it will use the hydropower resources of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, creating a sustainable electricity trade platform between Central and South Asia.

The third approved project involved a $35 million contribution to the second phase of the national education development strategy of Tajikistan.

Board members also discussed the possibility of setting up an emergency grant fund from the bank to provide support to Turkey and Syria in the aftermath of earthquakes that struck both countries in February.

Founded in 1975, the IsDB is headquartered in Jeddah and has seven regional hubs in Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Indonesia and Bangladesh, as well as a Center of Excellence in Malaysia.

The bank currently has 57 member countries, and the biggest is Saudi Arabia, which has contributed $5.5 billion, or 23.5 percent of total capital.