The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved the release of the second $1b tranche of the $3b loan aiming to fund Egypt’s economic reform program, reported Al Ahram Newspaper.

Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr, will meet with the Qatari Manager of the World Bank late December to sign the second tranche’s funding agreement, reported Al Wattan News.

Nasr stated: “The WB’s approval is regarded as a certification of trust for the state’s economic reforms program, especially after the reception of the African Development Bank’s second tranche of the $1.5b three-year finance program.”

World Bank’s country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, Asad Alam, commented: “We are pleased to continue supporting the country’s ambitious program of reforms with a strong focus on job creation and boosting the competitiveness of Egyptian businesses.”

In 2014, Egypt started a strategy that aimed to introduce a number of reforms, including fuel subsidy cuts and implementing new taxes to ease a growing budget deficit that is currently estimated at 12.2% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Accordingly,  the country had received the first tranche of the World Bank loan, worth $1b in September 2016.