Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and the African Development Bank (AfDB) inked on Thursday a development financing deal worth €109 million that aims to provide sanitation services in residential communities in Luxor’s rural areas.
The signing took place in the presence of the Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, Assam El-Gazzar; the Head of the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater (HCWW), Mamdouh Raslan; Head of Luxor’s Potable Water and Sanitation Company, Mohamed Soliman; the AfDB’s Deputy Regional Director for North Africa and Country Manager for Egypt, Malinne Blomberg; Chairman of the Housing Committee at the House of Representatives, Imad Hammouda; and several representatives from the Luxor Governorate.
According to the deal, AfDB will provide €108 million alongside a €1 million grant to the project which will benefit 22 thousand homes in Luxor.
The financing will also go to building on the capacities of workers at the Potable Water and Sanitation Company in Luxor.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said that the strategic relationship between the AfDB and the ministry has contributed to the provision of many development funds across various sectors that have enhanced Egypt's efforts in achieving sustainable development.
Al-Mashat noted that the ministry is keen on coordinating with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support state projects with regards to drinking water and the sanitation sector, as both are vital to the country’s 2030 National Agenda in terms of water resource management and sustainable development.
The minister added that this development financing deal helps achieve several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); chiefly SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.
There is less than a decade left until 2030 and the Ministry of International Cooperation is accelerating the pace of development in Egypt towards the SDGs through economic diplomacy and its three pillars: Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, Mapping the SDGs, and the Global Partnerships Narrative.
Al-Mashat explained that the water and sewage networks were among the sectors that benefited the most from development funds provided by the ministry through development partners during 2020 with $1.4 billion, including $500 million went to social housing projects and $900 million directed to water and sewage networks.
“The AfDB is among the development partners that made these projects possible”, said Al-Mashat
She added that the government of Egypt is supporting efforts aiming to develop the sanitation sector across all governorates to enhance the lifestyle of rural communities by improving living conditions and by improving their ability to achieve food security.
Minister of Housing Assam El-Gazzar pointed out that the project, implemented in Luxor through AfDB, is important because 162 thousand citizens will receive immediate benefits, while 236 thousand citizens will benefit in the long run, alongside 30 thousand farmers.
“The project is also in line with the ‘Decent Life’ presidential initiative, which was issued by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, as it strengthens water and sanitation services. This complements the state’s efforts in upgrading and ensuring proper water and sanitation services across all governorates in the next 3 years,” said El-Gazzar.
On her side, AfDB’s Deputy Regional Director for North Africa and Country Manager for Egypt, Malinne Blomberg noted that continued cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation and government entities is a positive step towards ensuring that all citizens are benefiting from clean water and sanitation services, alongside helping Egypt achieve sustainable development.
In the same context, Chairman of the Housing Committee at the House of Representatives Imad Hammouda applauded the state’s efforts in developing Upper Egypt and for the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation in securing the necessary development funds for implementing projects that will improve the living conditions of citizens.
The ongoing cooperation portfolio between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the AfDB amounts to about $640.8 million, covering various development sectors such as electricity, health, research, entrepreneurship, budget support, and water and sanitation.