Egypt stands to receive $600 mln in wheat import, silo funding from World Bank, EU

CAIRO, June 2 (Reuters) - Egypt stands to access more than $600 million from the World Bank and the European Union to improve its wheat silo system and support government wheat purchases as it struggles with the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under a food security programme pending approval by the World Bank board, Egypt would receive $380 million to help its state grains buyer import up to 700,000 tonnes of wheat for its bread subsidy programme, a World Bank document showed.

An additional $117.5 million would be allocated for increasing silo capacity, financing development of high-yield wheat varieties and improving climate resilience.

Separately, the European Commission has mobilised 75 million euros ($80.24 million) for the expansion of Egypt’s wheat storage capacity, and 25 million euros ($26.75 million) for small and medium enterprises in the agriculture sector, EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said late on Wednesday, following a visit to Cairo.

That funding is part of a previously announced 225 million ($240.71 million) euro food security support package to Middle Eastern and North African nations impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine has left Egypt, which provides steeply subsidised bread to more than 70 million people, facing sharply higher import costs. Russia and Ukraine have been the main suppliers of wheat to Egypt, one of the world’s largest importers.

Last week, Egypt’s supply ministry said the Saudi Arabia-based International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) had doubled its credit limit to Egypt to $6 billion to help it import wheat. ($1 = 0.9348 euros) (Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Writing by Sarah El Safty; Editing by Alison Williams)