Mon, 05 Apr 2021 - 01:03 GMT
Mon, 05 Apr 2021 - 01:03 GMT
CAIRO – 5 April 2021: The Portugese Presidency of the Council of the European Union in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the Delegation of the European Union in Egypt hosted Monday a joint webinar on Water Sustainability and Clean Oceans.
The webinar’s keynote speaker is Dr Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt. Mrs. Manuela Franco, Ambassador of Portugal in Egypt, will moderate a panel that includes Mr Christian Berger, EU Ambassador to Egypt, Dr Sayed Ismail, deputy minister for Utilities and Infrastructure, Mr Alfredo Abad, head of the EIB Regional Office in Cairo along with sector experts. Dr Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of Maritime Affairs of Portugal will conclude the webinar.
The webinar tackled the effects of climate change on water resources and the green transition. It further opened discussions on Egypt’s perspectives of public and private led sustainable development and green investments.
H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation first began her remarks stressing the importance of water as a key to any industry, adding that the Ministry of International Cooperation has allocated more than 19.4 percent of its development financing to SDG6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
“Water replenishes our people, transports our trade, and is key to any industry. It is the foundation for all development growth and economic stability. Through our international partnerships for sustainable development, Egypt is dedicated to supporting green growth and responsible consumption of all natural resources, with the Ministry of International Cooperation allocating more than 19.4 percent of its development financing to SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation” H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Arab Republic of Egypt.
H.E. Manuela Franco, Ambassador of Portugal in Egypt, stressed that climate challenge is a huge global challenge, ensuring the urgency of a green transition in order to build sustainable economies and prosperous societies.
“We need a clear understanding that we face the same problems, even though the approaches have been shaped differently by the history and the culture of each nation. Different approaches, yet always aimed at the same objective: to provide water for all uses, in a sustainable manner, equitable and socially just, at a suitable price,” Franco added.
He presented Portugal’s efforts to highlight the theme of Green Investment within the EU-Africa dialogue.
For his part, Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to Egypt H.E. Mr Christian Berger underlined that all countries in the Mediterranean region are concerned with the conservation and fair distribution of water.
“We need to work together to face the shared challenges of water resource management and ensure these are effectively addressed. We are working together with our Egyptian partners to this end,” EU ambassador said.
He explained three pillars of the European Union work towards water management in Egypt, including: investment in human capital, public awareness on water scarcity and pollution, and supporting investment in infrastructure.
“Today’s event is a cornerstone to remind ourselves that sustainable management of water resources, at both local and regional levels, requires global action,” he added.
He further said that the EU is involved in water projects in 16 governorates in Egypt.
In his talk, EU Ambassador Berger ensured that “everyone will have to play a part to enhance safe, secure, resilient, ecologically sustainable and inclusive access to water and sanitation, as this is a shared responsibility while offering an opportunity for our economies and societies.”
Alfredo Abad, Head of EIB’s regional office in Cairo highlighted that the bank has been operating in Cairo for 40 years.
Abad introduced the portfolio of the Clean Oceans Initiative (COI), which was launched in October 2018 by the EIB, to support projects that reduce pollution in the oceans, with a particular focus on plastics around the world.
In Egypt, the EIB provided a COI loan of 238.9 million Euros to clean up the Kitchener Drain, and 80 million Euros to increase the capacity and upgrade Alexandria West Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The webinar is part of the EU-Africa 30 days of dialogue on green transition and green investment between African and European partners. It is a series of events and virtual meetings organised across Africa and Europe beginning on 24 March and culminating on 23 April, with the High-level EU-Africa Green Investment Forum, being held in Lisbon. The Forum and the Green Talks are unlocking a month of dialogue and debate between the two continents, paving the way to the preparation of the next summit between the European Union and the African Union.