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Cairo, Egypt, April 8, 2012
—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is lending the Cairo Investment and Real Estate Development company (CIRA) up to $15 million to help the firm build primary and secondary schools across Egypt, providing thousands of children with the opportunity to gain access to high-quality education.
The funding support from IFC will enable CIRA, a leading provider of kindergarten through grade 12 instruction, to expand its network of schools into more remote areas of the country where there is a shortage of good, affordable education. The company plans to build seven schools over the next five years, creating capacity for an estimated 12,000 students.
“Our aim is to give children across the country the opportunity to reach their potential,” said Mohamed El Kalla, CEO of CIRA. “This partnership with IFC will help us do that.”
This loan is part of IFC’s efforts in Egypt to support the development of the education sector and rekindle investor confidence in the wake of the country’s transformation. CIRA now operates 15 Futures Schools with a combined enrollment of 14,000 students. The new schools will be built in districts across the country, including Assuit and Minya in southern Egypt.
“Providing students with access to a quality education is vital for the economic development of Egypt,” said Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “At the same time, this investment in CIRA demonstrates our belief that the company, like many others in Egypt, has tremendous long-term potential.”
Investment in private education is a strategic priority for IFC. IFC’s education portfolio stands at more than $400 million, encompassing 69 projects in 33 countries, several of which are among the world's poorest states.
As part of these efforts, in 2010 IFC launched the e4e Initiative for Arab Youth in partnership with the Islamic Development Bank. The program aims to develop a common approach to working with the private sector to enhance education options and entrepreneurship opportunities for youth in the Middle East and North Africa.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. We create opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We do so by providing financing to help businesses employ more people and supply essential services, by mobilizing capital from others, and by delivering advisory services to ensure sustainable development. In a time of global economic uncertainty, our new investments climbed to a record $18 billion in fiscal 2010. For more information, visit
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