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EBRD’s $ 20m loan to Egypt’s edible oil firm Afia to help face food security challenges
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) provides a $ 20 million loan to Egypt’s Afia International, one of the country’s top manufacturers of edible vegetable oils and ghee, to promote the company’s resilience to food security challenges.
The EBRD financing will support the company’s working capital requirements and the purchase of raw materials, including bulk crude vegetable oil. It will also help the company diversify its financing sources by providing approximately 15 per cent of what it needs annually.
The war on Ukraine has had a huge impact on global food security, as both Russia and Ukraine are large exporters of key commodities such as wheat and edible oils. It has pushed up global food prices, particularly in the southern and eastern Mediterranean, which relies heavily on food imports and commodities from these two countries.
Through this new investment, the EBRD is helping Afia International diversify and enhance its local value chain by adding new local suppliers and improving its quality and operating standards, which will help it expand into new export markets.
In addition, the EBRD is helping Afia International raise its inclusion standards by promoting a gender-sensitive internship program that will increase women’s access to employment and training.
Afia International is a fully owned subsidiary of Savola Foods, ultimately owned by Savola Group, a publicly listed company headquartered in Jeddah and one of Saudi Arabia’s leading agribusiness companies with a strong presence in the Middle East and North Africa region.