On Tuesday, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat affirmed that the Climate change crisis poses a major threat to the achievement of sustainable development, poverty reduction, global water safety plans, and the Millennium Development Goals by developing and developed countries, emphasizing that “creating innovative financing solutions is needed for supporting projects in the water sector.”
In her address at the Fourth Edition of the Cairo Water Week forum, Al-Mashat affirmed 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.
Al-Mashat noted that water issues are vital for the well-being of people and the economy overall, which increases the need for substantial investments to build quality infrastructure, deployment of high technology, and best practices.
Al-Mashat 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 elaborated 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.
The minister added that the EIB, the European Union, the KfW Development Bank, and the French Development Agency, currently finance water and wastewater projects amounting to EUR 1.5 billion.
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 also 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 spirit, she 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 accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It’s worth mentioning that Cairo Water Week enhances communication and coordination between all stakeholders to provide sustainable solutions to water issues and to promote effective partnerships.