Tue, 26 Oct 2021 - 03:57 GMT
Tue, 26 Oct 2021 - 03:57 GMT
CAIRO – 26 October 2021: The European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Union, the KfW Development Bank, and the French Development Agency, currently finance water and wastewater projects in Egypt amounting to €1.5 billion, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rana Al-Mashat.
Al-Mashat clarified that Egypt has a significant relationship with bilateral and multilateral development partners in Europe, as they contribute to the implementation of priority projects in a wide range of areas, including the water and wastewater, on both public and private sector levels.
This came at Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat’s closing remarks for the Seminar organized by the European Investment Bank (EIB) as part of the Fourth edition of the Cairo Water Week, on “Financing Water Projects: Opportunities and Challenges”. Along with the EIB, this seminar was also organized by the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, the KfW Development Bank, and the French Development Agency, in cooperation with the Ministries of Water Resources and Irrigation; and Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities.
During her speech, Al-Mashat stated that water is the source of life; however, it is the most affected source by climate change, as the increased frequency of extreme weather severely affects the availability and quality of freshwater resources, causing water-related natural disasters.
She added that financing water and water-related projects is a challenge that faces developed and developing countries; stressing on the importance of bolstering investments in the water sector to address important issues such as shortage, quality of water and water systems.
Al-Mashat noted that water issues are vital for the wellbeing of people and the economy overall, which increases the need for substantial investments to build quality infrastructure, deployment of high technology and best practices. The minister further referred to the significance of the seminar which is held as part of the Fourth edition of the Cairo Water week, to address the planned projects in the water sanitation and desalination subsectors, in the framework of the Egyptian National Water Resources Plan (2017-2037), through development financing, Public Private Partnership, and other innovative financing tools to pool more financing to the sector.
The Minister stated that despite the COVID-19 challenges, years of 2020 and 2021 were significant in consolidating the relations between Egypt and the European partners, as Egypt concluded development financing agreements supporting several projects across various sectors, such as the water and wastewater sector, within the framework of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts.
She further referred to the Government of Egypt’s efforts in developing infrastructure, including the advancement of water and wastewater sectors, in the framework of some Presidential initiatives such as “Decent Life”. This is in addition to the bold strategic plans that the government implements to mitigate climate changes and face water scarcity, such as the desalination plan till 2050.
In that same vein, Al-Mashat expressed her confidence in the effectiveness of the continuous cooperation between the Egyptian stakeholders and the development partners on all levels, which can achieve the common goals towards realizing sustainable development and inclusive economic growth by improving access to clean drinking water, safe sanitation services, reducing water resources pollution and achieving water and sanitation targets, in light of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This comes within the framework of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Presidential Decree No. 303 of 2004, committing the Ministry to: develop and strengthen the economic cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and other countries as well as international and regional organizations; propose the criteria for obtaining external financing, both funds and grants; follow-up and monitor ministries and national agencies that benefit from foreign financing within the framework of the general economic policy of the country to ensure achieving the economic development goals; and manage Egypt’s economic relations with international organizations of economic cooperation, the international financial institutions and specialized agencies of the United Nations.