CAIRO – 22 December 2020: Egypt's Ministry of International Cooperation managed to secure development financing worth $1.417 billion in 2020 for housing and wastewater management from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, World Bank, Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, and the AfDB, EBRD and Germany, according to Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat.
Al-Mashat announced during the launch of the 2020 Annual Report that the report also reveals that within the development portfolio of the Ministry of International Cooperation, there are 43 projects worth $4.99 billion on SDG 6, making up 19.4 percent of total ODA.
The report, titled ‘International Partnerships for Sustainable Development’, tracks Egypt’s progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report draws on the latest available data found in the Ministry’s ODA SDG mapping exercise, and provides an overview of Egypt’s implementation efforts, highlighting areas of progress and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on each SDG.
Water demand is increasing due to population growth and climate change, and in light of the COVID-19 crisis, leading experts have predicted that the pandemic could increase partners’ focus on water, as it was revealed that access to clean water and sanitation is essential for the protection of the citizen’s wellbeing and the prevention of future pandemics.
To reflect the changing global dynamic, Al-Mashat noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to apply the three principles of economic diplomacy, which are: organizing multi-stakeholder platforms, ODA SDG mapping, and the Global Partnerships Narrative (People&Projects&Purpose).
Embedding water at the center of economic growth planning, the Ministry is supporting a range of collaborations to scale up a new generation of public-private partnerships that can accelerate the implementation of UN SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.
The report outlines the main success drivers that all the projects fall under, which is the Ministry’s ‘Global Partnerships Narrative’ that focuses on three main pillars: people at the core, projects in action, and purpose as the driver, to streamline all development efforts under one umbrella and push for a human-centered economy.
Putting people at the core, the report highlights that water plays a fundamental role across the economy, referring it as the ‘resource that underpins all drivers of growth’. To address people’s needs for clean water and sanitation, Egypt’s 2050 strategy is based on four pillars: 1) improving water quality 2) developing water resources 3) rationalizing consumption and 4) creating an enabling environment for sustainable development.
Under projects in action, a number of agreements were signed. In June 2020, in partnership with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), a $249 million financing agreement for Bahr El-Baqar drainage system was signed for sewage and agricultural waste treatment to achieve the optimum utilization of Egypt’s available water resources and is part of the Sinai Peninsula development programme.
The report states that stimulating the development of clean technologies in Egyptian agriculture is the aim of an alliance that was recently initiated between the Ministry of International Cooperation, IFC, the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) and MSMEDA. The IFC will provide technical assistance to Egyptian financial institutions, including the NBE and the MSMEDA, to help develop a financial product that will enable farmers to purchase solar water pumps at an affordable price; whereas there are currently 960,000 diesel-powered water pumps are currently being used for irrigation in Egypt, at an annual cost of $894 million.
With purpose as the driver, total development financing dedicated to housing and wastewater management aims to achieve several targets of the SDGs, mainly Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Goal 9: Industry and Innovation, and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals.
According to the annual report by the Ministry of International Cooperation in 2020, the ministry secured development financing agreements worth $9.8 billion during the year; $6.7 billion for financing sovereign projects, and $3.1 billion in support of the private sector.