Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Director of Operations in Neighboring Countries at the European Investment Bank (EIB) Flavia Palanza inked on Tuesday a development financing agreement worth €1.1 billion aiming to support the rehabilitation of the Abu Qir metro and Raml tram in Alexandria, and the second metro line in Cairo in order to promote sustainable transport and inclusive urbanisation.
The funding comes within a financing package worth €1.9 billion, which includes €800 million allocated to enhance the resilience of small and medium-sized enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as €1.1 billion dedicated to support sustainable public transport and infrastructure development.
Minister Al-Mashat said that Egypt’s partnership with the EIB is strategic, with investments totalling €10.6 billion that systematically integrate the social, economic, and environmental aspects of development and align with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The projects will also be supported through the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative and the EU Neighbourhood Investment Programme, which provided grants for technical assistance and advisory support.
“Understanding the value of transport infrastructure is at the heart of informed policy-making. Benefiting more than half a million passengers a day, we are not only reshaping Egypt’s economic geography but also meeting social and environmental targets to drive sustainable growth. We value our partnership with EIB, which has been instrumental in pushing the frontiers of ESG standards that push international cooperation across various sectors to varying projects, including the private sector,” said Al-Mashat.
On her side, EIB’s Palanza pointed out that the EIB gives high priority to clean urban transport projects such as trams and metros.
“Today, we signed the €1.1 billion government agreement supporting this important goal for our joint cooperation. This large-size financing responds to the ambitious objectives of the Egyptian government to improve people’s lives by building sustainable transport infrastructure and reducing CO2 emissions. The €600 million first tranche of the EIB support is signed today and we expect to sign the second tranche early next year. We are looking forward to implementing these key investment projects with our Egyptian partners and other international financial institutions,” Palanza illustrated.
For his part, European Union Ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger stated that the EU is committed to supporting green growth in Egypt in line with the spirit of the European Green Deal, and that the Egyptian government and the EIB have put great efforts into bringing green, affordable, and safe transport to Egyptian citizens.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Minister of Transportation Kamel El-Wazir noted that the projects come under a comprehensive national strategy to promote green and sustainable transport, referring to the critical role that Egypt’s partnership with the EIB plays in financing electric buses, which increases the efficiency of public transport and protects the environment by reducing emissions.
According to the annual report by the Ministry of International Cooperation in 2020, the ministry secured development financing agreements worth $9.8 billion during this year, including $6.7 billion for financing sovereign projects, and $3.1 billion in support of the private sector.
During 2020, the ministry also secured $1.7 billion in development financing to support sustainable transportation with development partners that include the EIB, Agence Francaise de Developpement, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, China, and Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development.