PM Kandil looks to World Bank for help overhauling Egypt's rail system

Sunday 10-02-2013 05:51 PM
PM Kandil looks to World Bank for help overhauling Egypt's rail system

Egypt will ask the World Bank for a series of financial aid packages aimed at improving the national railway system, Prime Minister Hisham Kandil announced on his official Facebook page on Saturday.

On the same day, Kandil met with World Bank Executive Director Merza Hassan to discuss a proposed development plan aimed at upgrading railway safety, along with possible technical and financial endorsement of the project by the World Bank. 

"The World Bank is keen on helping Egypt face current challenges and develop its infrastructure," Hassan said during his meeting with Kandil. "Egypt's security is integral to the region."

Egypt is currently negotiating a $4.8 billion loan deal from the IMF aimed at boosting its ailing economy and taming a widening budget deficit that hit a record high of LE91.5 billion in February.

Egypt's railway system is notorious for its poor safety conditions. Last year alone, Egypt suffered four deadly train crashes, and in January of this year a major rail disaster in Giza left 19 dead and more than 100 injured.

The Giza train crash led the government to announce a series of steps aimed at upgrading Egypt's crumbling railway infrastructure.

Last week, Egypt's minister of planning announced that LE835 million would be allocated for "the urgent maintenance and development" of the national railway system.

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