The Ministry of International Cooperation signed on Monday a new agreement, Programme II (IWSP II) with a number of European bodies for the improvement of water and wastewater services, according to a joint statement from the parties involved.
Among the signatories with the ministry were the European Union (EU), German Development Bank (KFW), French Development Agency (AFD), European Investment Bank (AIB), and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The project will be jointly financed, with Germany’s KFW being the lead financing institution, and will cost around EUR 303m. The European Development Partners will contribute EUR 209m, 69% of the total cost, while the Egyptian government will provide EUR 94m, the remaining 31%.
The EU’s contribution is this project will be EUR 23m, provided as a grant.
The new project will be implemented in Qena, Sohag, Assiut and Minya, all in Upper Egypt, and will provide clean drinking water and safe sanitation for about 15.3m people.
The programme includes rehabilitation projects for existing water and sanitation facilities as well as the construction of new ones with the aim to improve the health of the population in the targeted governorates.
The project will be implemented over a period of five years, followed by a 30 month closure phase.
The structure of the IWSP II will be similar to the IWSP I, which was implemented in four Nile Delta governorates. The first project cost around EUR 295.1m and was also jointly financed by the KFW, AFD, the EIB, EU and the Egyptian government.
Currently, 21 projects are under implementation by Egyptian contractors and consultants.
Another cooperation programme that was signed the same day was the “Umbrella Agreement”. The EUR 52.3m agreement is between the AFD, the EU and the Egyptian government.
The AFD will provide EUR 30m as a sovereign loan while the EU will offer EUR 22m as a grant. The contribution of the Egyptian government will be EUR 292,000.
The agreement aims to strengthen the agriculture sector and facilitate the access of agricultural SMEs to finance.
The distribution of the agreement’s funds will be divided amongst various projects, with EUR 32.5 to finance investments that already exist in the Agricultural Development Programme, while EUR 9m will be used to establish a credit guarantee scheme.
The agreement also includes providing EUR 3.7m for technical assistance to key stakeholders in the lending and as a guarantee to the grants process.
EUR 4.8m will be provided for technical assistance to support dairy and marine aquaculture value-chains.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Cooperation Ziad Bahaa El-Din signed the agreement with the French Ambassador to Egypt Nicolas Galey, EU Ambassador to Egypt James Moran and Marie-Pierre Nicollet, the director of AFD’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) department in Paris.
“This agreement is a key step in the implementation of this project, which will create significant opportunities for financing of agricultural enterprises in Egypt, and in particular the dairy and aquaculture sectors,” Moran said, adding that “EU assistance to Egypt focuses on job creation and income generation in both rural and urban areas, and SASME is a key part of our programme.”
Galey said the agreement confirms and strengthens France’s commitment in supporting job creation and revenue improvement, especially in rural areas.
“With ongoing programmes in the fields of research and irrigation, France grants a high importance to its cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation,” Galey added.