The Egyptian House of Representatives ratified a JPY 44 billion (USD 308 million, EGP 9.5 billion) loan agreement with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 21 June to help fund Egypt’s universal health insurance program.
The loan will complete its disbursement by July 2024 and be repaid over 15 years at 0.01 percent interest.
The agreement was signed on 27 March by Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait.
“Egypt has been working to introduce the Universal Health Insurance System since 2018; however, it faces certain challenges such as financial constraints,” said the March press release issued by JICA.
“In response to this situation, the objective of the loan is to financially support Egypt’s implementation of the Universal Health Insurance System, including a medical security system and improved health care services, thereby contributing to the attainment of universal health coverage and promoting Egypt’s economic stabilization and development efforts,” the press release continued.
“Due to the country’s rapid population growth, the COVID-19 pandemic, and rising prices, now more than ever, Egypt is in urgent need of a system that enables its citizens to access quality health services without expensive medical bills that leave them impoverished,” JICA said.
The universal healthcare insurance program has been launched in the governorates of Port Said, Ismailia, Suez, South Sinai, and North Sinai.