WB sanitation program loan reflects confidence in leadership priorities: Egypt investment minister

Ahram Online , Saturday 22 Sep 2018

Egypt's Minister of Investment Sahar Nasr (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that on Saturday the World Bank's decision to loan Egypt $300 million to develop its rural sanitation services "reflects the bank's absolute confidence in the priority placed on this vital sector by the Egyptian political leadership."

In a statement released by the ministry, Minister Sahr added that the decision also reflects and the WB's conviction of the effectiveness of the economic and social reforms taken by the government to make a comprehensive leap in sanitation services in order to meet the aspirations of the Egyptian people"

The World Bank had announced on Saturday a new $300 million loan for complementing the current Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services Program in Egypt.

Nasr explained that the World Bank fully concurs with the Egyptian vision of the macroeconomic reforms which require parallel reforms aimed at strengthening social protection networks for the poor and low-income, especially in housing and sanitation.

The loan also reflects the WB's keenness to be a real development partner for Egypt in various sectors, said the minister.

Sahar explained that the project aims to complete the provision of sanitation services to 892,000 citizens in villages suffering from highest degrees of pollution, which are among the most needy villages in the governorates of Sharkiya, Dakahliya, Damietta, Gharbiya and Menoufiya, thus bringing the number of the beneficiaries of the project up to 1,710,000 citizens.

According to the minister, the rural sanitation program "started in 2015 with funding of $550 million in support of the Egyptian government's national sanitation program to provide good sanitation services to the rural population. The program focuses on the priority of delivering sanitation services to families in the most needy villages."

The minister pointed out that additional funding will also support the establishment and upgrading of sewage treatment plants; rely on local water and sanitation companies to connect sanitation systems tin homes and construct sewage infrastructure; and ultimately strengthen the sustainability of the national sewage grid system.

Samia Mossadak, the acting regional director of Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti at the World Bank said "Ensuring equal opportunities for access to basic services is essential for achieving comprehensive growth, which is why Egypt has realized the importance of launching this ambitious project."

"We are proud to support these effort out of our belief that investing in human capital, i.e. in people's health and education, is a long term investment any country can achieve." 

Meanwhile, Osama Hamad, senior expert on water and sanitation at the World Bank and the head of the team overseeing the program, said the program aims at strengthening the capacity of the sector's institutions to provide services."

"This process will help ease health and economic burdens and will also ensure the sustainability of the sector," Osama added.

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