The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Wednesday signed 214 million euro deal with Egypt aimed at improving sanitation services and environment situation of the people living in the Nile delta region.
The new financing will be directed at the depopulation of the 69 km-long Kitchener Drain, the main agriculture drain spanning across the governorates of Kafr El-Sheikh Gharbia and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region and which is known to be one of the country's most severely polluted drains.
The deal was signed during a visit by Egypt's Investment Minister Sahar Nasr to Luxembourg"This project will have a great impact, as it will make sanitation services more available and improve the quality of water and farming conditions in the Nile Delta region. Overall, the project will contribute to raising the living standards of Egyptians in many governorates," said Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB at the signing ceremony, as quoted in a statement by the bank.
The project is part of the bank's Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) which seeks to "improve the resilience of the Egyptian economy and build stronger socio-economic infrastructure," he added.
The bank said it is the first integrated depollution project in Egypt, comprising investments in wastewater and sanitation, solid waste, and drain rehabilitation.
Up to around 6 million people are expected to benefit from improved sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the predicted investments, the statement says.
The European Union is providing a large grant of around 46 million euros through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) to finance investments and technical assistance in the project, while the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is contributing 148.3 million euros, Egypt's investment ministry said in a statement.
The project will involve the rehabilitation and expansion of around 30 sewage plants and the establishment of central sewage collection systems, the ministry added.
Wednesday's deal brings EIB’s total finance to Egypt this year to nearly 740 million euros, mainly in the water and wastewater sectors as well small- end medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-caps, according to the bank.