Ministers of international cooperation and environment in meeting WBG regional representative in Cairo, Egypt on Sep. 15, 2021. Press Photo
CAIRO - 15 September 2021: H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment met at the headquarters of the Ministry of International Cooperation with Ms. Ayat Soliman, Regional Director of the World Bank Group's Sustainable Development Department for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
The meeting was held in the presence of experts from both sides to discuss the framework for future cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank Group (WBG); to forge climate action policies and monitor their impact on catalyzing economic growth and attracting investments to the local market.
The meeting underscored the national efforts in the path of green and sustainable growth through presenting some important projects, such as the Bahr Al-Baqar Water Drainage System and the Gabal El-Asfar Wastewater Treatment Plant (GAWWTP). The value added by these projects to Egypt’s development efforts and their role in attracting green investments, were also highlighted. In addition, the meeting delved into the cooperation needed to transfer and imbed technological innovations into the services provided across different sectors, namely agriculture, industry, irrigation, and infrastructure.
H.E. Al-Mashat stressed that the ongoing discussions aim to familiarize the World Bank Group with the Egyptian government’s priorities concerning climate action and effective communication among different stakeholders. This shall bolster notions of multilateralism to achieve green growth and mobilize development financing and green investment opportunities to advance national development efforts.
Al-Mashat stated that the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) regard Egypt as the leading country of the green recovery agenda in the region, thanks to the policies undertaken in all fields and the well-structured plans to expand environment-friendly projects. H.E. Al-Mashat elaborated that Egypt has come to inspire the growing economies who wish to shift to a green economy; adding that the IFIs seek to provide the necessary support to implement the country’s plans in this regard.
Al- Mashat stressed that the Ministry of International Cooperation is striving to support economic relations between Egypt and multilateral and bilateral development partners, through the three principles of Economic Diplomacy: the Multi-Stakeholder Platforms (MSPs), the Official Development Assistance mapping to the Sustainable Development Goals (ODA-SDG Mapping), and the Global Partnerships Narrative. The Minister added that the ongoing portfolio of the Ministry International cooperation includes projects worth $365 million to achieve SDG 13: Climate Action.
H.E. Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, praised the ongoing cooperation with the WBG in the environmental sector, noting that climate change is a development challenge rather than an environmental challenge, which made Egypt take active steps to foster stringent measures in the face of climate change to involve all stakeholder to work together towards a green and sustainable future. Egypt, hence, put the National Council on Climate Change under the guidance of H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Egypt’s Prime Minister, where line ministries and sectors, whether generating or affected by greenhouse emissions, will participate to develop policies and procedures that take into account the effects of climate change.
Fouad emphasized the indispensable need for the WBG’s experience in preparing climate quantitative studies, which help gauge the effects of climate change on the economy and development and, hence, make a difference in fashioning effective policies and taking appropriate decisions.
The Minister of Environment added that the needs and priorities of countries regarding climate projects may change, as Egypt, for example, started with renewable energy projects and is currently working on sustainable transport projects, in which we have taken serious steps, especially with the presidential initiative to shift to clean-fuel vehicles and manufacture electric buses.
H.E. Fouad further elaborated that development financing is catalyzed via the climate action interventions success stories that entice the public and private sector to redirect their financing towards a green economy.
For her part, Ms. Ayat Soliman, Regional Director of the World Bank Group's Sustainable Development Department for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has congratulated the Ministry of International Cooperation on convening the Egypt - International Cooperation Forum (Egypt-ICF), which shall bestow tangible impact on the international and regional levels to advance development efforts.
Soliman also presented the role played by the World Bank Group (WBG) at the regional level to support collective efforts to combat climate change, commending the Egyptian efforts to achieve economic and social development and promote green investment; making Egypt the country to lead green growth in the region. WBG’s Soliman expressed her eagerness to develop a cooperation program with Egypt whereby the country ushers in sustainable development interventions and leads green growth in the Middle East and Africa region.
Soliman further affirmed the WBG’s keenness to support the Egyptian government's efforts to address the repercussions of climate change, as well as crafting the policies that shall enhance these efforts.
Egypt is exerting unremitting efforts to set an example of effective green transition at the regional level through development projects across a sundry of sectors. The government has also issued the region's first green bonds, worth $750 million, to finance environment-friendly projects.
It is worth noting that the environment sector is one of the vital sectors for which the Ministry of International Cooperation seeks to provide necessary development financing. The ongoing development financing portfolio for environmental projects amounts to $260 million dedicated to implement 4 projects, including the National Solid Waste Management Programme (NSWMP), with the contribution of the World Bank Group (WBG); the European Investment Bank (EIB); Agence Française de Développement (AFD); the European Union (EU); and Italy.