Cairo – Mubasher: The Ministry of International Cooperation and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a development financing deal worth EUR 109 million to provide sanitation services in residential communities in Luxor’s rural areas, according to a statement on Thursday.
This took place in the presence of the Minister of Housing, Utilities, and Urban Communities, Assem 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 African Development Bank’s (AfDB) 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.
This comes within the framework of the role played by the Ministry of International Cooperation to coordinate between multilateral and bilateral development partners, and various government entities, so as to manage development funds secured for priority projects that benefit the citizens and support Egypt’s national development agenda.
The AfDB will provide EUR 108 million alongside a EUR 1 million grant through the project under implementation so that 22,000 homes in Luxor will benefit. The Egyptian government is supporting efforts aimed at developing 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. This development financing amount will also go to building on the capacities of workers at the Potable Water and Sanitation Company in Luxor.
El-Mashat said that the strategic relationship between AfDB and the Ministry of International Cooperation has contributed to the provision of many development funds across various sectors that have enhanced Egypt's efforts in achieving sustainable development.
She 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 Sustainable Development Goals; namely 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.
El-Mashat explained that the water and sewage networks were among the sectors that benefited the most from development funds provided by the Ministry of International Cooperation through development partners, during the past year with $1.4 billion. This includes $500 million that went to social housing projects and $900 million that went to water and sewage networks. The AfDB is among the development partners that made these projects possible.
The Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities, Assem El-Gazzar, pointed out that this project, implemented in Luxor through AfDB, is important because 162,000 citizens will receive immediate benefits, while 236,000 citizens will benefit in the long run, alongside 30,000 farmers.
El-Gazzar added that because the project strengthens water and sanitation services, it is in line with the “Decent Life” Presidential Initiative, which was issued by the President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. This also complements the state’s efforts in upgrading and ensuring proper water and sanitation services across all governorates in the next three years. He also expressed that the Ministry of International Cooperation plays an important role in strengthening partnerships between Egypt and development partners.
The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Deputy Regional Director for North Africa and Country Manager for Egypt, Malinne Blomberg, also shared 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.
It is worth noting that 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.