World Bank head discusses financing approvals and water-sharing with Ethiopia’s PM

By Zeinab El-Gundy , Thursday 18 Jun 2020

A file photo of President of World Bank David Malpass (Photo: Reuters)

(Ahram Online) — World Bank President David Malpass said on Thursday that he had discussed with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed the latest bank financing for the country, and its cooperation on water-sharing, in an indirect reference to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

“Important to unify the expensive dual exchange rate & that Ethiopia and its neighbors sustain constructive dialogue plus cooperation on water sharing” Malpass said on his official Twitter account.

On Wednesday, the World Bank’s board approved $250 million in supplemental financing to Ethiopia, half as a grant and half as a loan.

According to a press release from the bank, the supplemental financing will help to mitigate the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis on the government’s reform agenda.

The World Bank and the US administration sponsored a round of talks in the winter between Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan on the GERD’s filing and operation, but negotiations reached a deadlock in February as Ethiopia and Sudan did not sign the resulting draft agreement.

On Wednesday, Egypt’s irrigation ministry said that a new set of negotiations that began this month had reached a deadlock after Addis Ababa refused to enter into a legally binding agreement on the controversial project.

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