CAIRO – 26 March 2019: Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Dr. Mohamed Abd El-Aty celebrated the World Water Day with European Union (EU) Ambassador Ivan Surkoš on the bank of the Nile River, at Afla Garden in El Kanater El Khairia. At the celebration a number of European and African Ambassadors, representatives of donor agencies, prominent governmental officials and a selection of media professionals were also present.
Ambassador Surkoš declared during the celebration that the EU will embark on a mutli-annual flagship program in Egypt labelled #EU4WATER, with a total grants-based budget of up to EUR120 million.
The goal behind this EU program is to brace the stabilisation of Egypt through the enhancement of water security and sustainable water management.
Furthermore, Ambassador Surkoš also declared in his statement that the EU hope to sign the program Financing Agreement during the summer and that the implementation will start before the end of the year. He also emphasized that the EU has been one of the strongest supporters of Egypt during the challenges our country faces regarding water scarcity. The EU has so far contributed EUR450 million to establish water projects during the past ten years. Surkoš added that these grants leveraged EUR2.5 billion of funds for this sector from European financial institutions.
It is worth mentioning that the cooperation programs between Egypt and the EU concerning the water sector covers 12 Egyptian governorates. These programs will improve the lives of 15 million Egyptians, targeting the less fortunate and most needy.
“The EU is committed to support the sustainable water management in Egypt through continuing the development projects as well as the expansion of policy dialogue with decision makers,” Surkoš stated.
Moreover, Minister Abd El-Aty also pointed out many crucial points during his speech in the ceremony. “Water challenges in Egypt is one of the country’s top priorities and therefore all ministries and relevant governmental institutions, in cooperation with esteemed partners such as the European Union, have to cooperate together in the implementation of the National Water Resources Plan (NWRP.) The plan has four main goals: First goal is improving the water quality, second goal is enhancing the management of water use, third goal is enhancing the availability of fresh water resources and final goal is improving the enabling environment for integrated water resources management.”
Minister Abd El-Aty explained the ministry’s strategy until 2050 and its stages, that will enhance Egyptian water security, and also will meet the requirements of all economic sectors and achieve sustainable development objectives according to Egypt’s 2030 vision.
Their excellencies Dr. Abd El-Aty and Ambassador Surkoš gave special awards to a group of female farmers who are board members of a water users associations from various governorates on the occasion of the International Women’s Day in recognition of their strong role in the enhancement of water resources management and the protection of water from pollution.
Dr. Abd El-Aty praised the efforts and best practices of Egyptian farmers who have adopted modern irrigation techniques such as drip and spray irrigation to conserve water. These conservation strategies reflect their commitment to preserve water and protect it from pollution.