The World Bank Group headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) slashed its world growth forecast by the most since the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, and projected even faster inflation, after Russia invaded Ukraine and China renewed virus lockdowns. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

ADDIS ABABA, April 5 (Reuters) – The World Bank and Ethiopia have signed loan agreements totalling $1.72 billion to enhance electricity and water supply, as well as to facilitate the movement of food to markets, the finance ministry said on Friday.

The bank will allocate $523 million to expand the Horn of Africa nation’s electricity network and boost renewable energy generation, according to the ministry’s statement.

An additional $500 million will go towards two projects aimed at boosting access to food markets, including improving road networks in rural areas, the statement said.

Ethiopia, which has also experienced foreign-currency shortages, continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a two-year war in the northern Tigray region, and droughts, floods, and locust invasions in parts of the country

The remaining World Bank funding will be allocated to improving water supply and supporting programs in towns that employ disadvantaged youths.

Typically, World Bank loans carry low to zero interest rates and have repayment periods of 30 to 40 years.

(Reporting by Dawit Endeshaw; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Bate Felix)