Cairo Water Week: Team Europe highlights importance of sustainable water financing

(Source: European Investment Bank)

The instruments and prospects of sustainable financing to water projects is the topic of a seminar to be held tomorrow in the context of Cairo Water Week. Organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the German Development Bank (KfW). The seminar will shed light on the role of Team Europe in supporting water sector in Egypt.

H.E. Mohamed Abdel Aati, Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, H.E. Christian Berger, EU ambassador to Egypt and Flavia Palanza, EIB Director of Lending Operations in EU Neighbouring Countries will inaugurate the event.

During the half-day seminar, representatives of EU financial institutions and development partners will discuss financing instruments to the sub-sectors of water in light of the Egyptian National Water Resources Plan (2017-2037).

H.E the minister of International Cooperation will make concluding remarks reflecting on the ongoing cooperation between the ministry and European financial institutions.

The seminar will start tomorrow 26 October at 09h30 in the venue of the Cairo Water Week in hybrid format. Online registration for virtual presence is available (Click here to register).

Background information

EIB support to water sector

Water is the source of life, but also the resource most affected by climate change[1]. An increased frequency of extreme weather severely affects the availability and quality of freshwater resources, causing water-related natural disasters.

As the largest lender to the global water sector to date, with more than EUR 66 bn for over 1400 projects, the EIB is making water security and climate change adaptation a priority. The EIB lends to public or private utility companies, national or local authorities or directly for project finance deals. It can lend up to 50% of investment costs for individual projects. On average, its lending makes up 30% of the investment cost of water projects.

The EIB supports investment that sustainably manages limited global resources. Financed EIB projects increases secure access to water resourcesensure reliable provision of sustainable and affordable water and wastewater services promote resource efficiency (energy, chemicals, and water).

In Egypt, the Bank provided financing of EUR 1bn to support 13 projects in the water and wastewater sector. The bank’s support comes in the framework of the EU development policy to achieve the water and sanitation targets of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

The EC-grant funded MEHSIP helped to identify many projects in the sector and to conduct needed studies for the implementation. Also EIB-ERI Fund and the CAMENA provided needed grants for technical assistance services. 

The EIB supports the Egyptian government’s objectives under the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation (2008-2037), the National Rural Sanitation Programme (NRSP), and the National Rural Sanitation Strategy 2017-2037, which expands the planning in the area of Integrated Rural Sanitation for Egypt up to 2037.

Three projects are considered priorities for the EIB’s communications. The Integrated Water Services Programme I and II involve financing many projects in the Nile Delta as well as Upper Egypt e.g. news. The project was identified under MEHSIP and benefits from TA financed by the EC. The impact of the project includes improving access to clean drinking water and safe sanitation services and reducing water resources pollution. The programme also will support achieving financial stability and overall sustainability of HCWW and its affiliated companies. EIB is the key financier of the programme, however KfW manages the financing under MRI. (Note; There are many good quality aerial images of the sub-projects financed under the programme that can be used for communication material.)

The Kafr Elsheikh Waste Water Treatment project is another priority project for communications. It benefits from a TA. It will improve health standards for residents, the quality of irrigation water, as well as the environmental quality of the Nile, Lake Burullus, and the Mediterranean Sea. Indirect benefits include an expected increase in the volume and quality of fish in Lake Burullus (70% of the country’s fishing industry), safer agriculture production, improved conditions for tourism on the Mediterranean coast, and job creation. The project will increase the wastewater service coverage by 22%, reduce pollution of the River Nile-Rosetta and Lake Burullus, and contribute to climate change mitigation by reducing GHG emissions by 30.000 CO2e/year.

The Alexandria West WWTP expansion project will contribute towards efficient and sustainable water resources management. It is expected to have substantial environmental and social benefits, as it will reduce the levels of pollution in Lake MaryoutEl Mex Bay and the Mediterranean Sea. The project received MEHSIP support and EC grants for preparation and implementation.

Moreover, the Bank finances more projects in the sector such as the Fayoum Wastewater Expansion, Kitchener drain, and Alexandria West Waste Water Treatment Plant extension (see list of projects below).


[1] By 2025, 800 million people will have to cope with water scarcity.

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