Meeting of Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Hani Sewilam. January 12, 2023. Press Photo
CAIRO - 12 January 2023: The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation H.E. Dr. Hani Sewilam held an extensive meeting at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation headquarters, to discuss the latest developments and technical details of the works and projects included in the fields of water and food within the national platform for green projects "NWFE” Program, and follow up on the status of ongoing projects in the water resources, irrigation and food security sectors funded by development partners.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat emphasized the coordinating role of the Ministry of International Cooperation, in strengthening relations between national agencies and multilateral and bilateral development partners, explaining that with the launch of the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in light of Egypt's efforts for the green transition, a set of priority projects were selected in the water, food and energy pillars to make up Egypt’s Country Platform for the NWFE Program, also mobilizing
various financing mechanisms and blended finance that stimulate the participation of the private sector to implement development projects.
Al-Mashat pointed to the Ministry's keenness to communicate at the technical level with all national entities to continuously view their requirements and needs at the level of facilitated development financing, grants and technical support, explaining that the “NWFE” program is a national approach to strengthen mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change, and stimulate the green transition, in order to become a model for developing countries and emerging economies in mobilizing climate financing. Each of the program's pillars have a lead development partner; for the energy axis, the main development partner is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in the food axis, the main development partner is the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and in the water axis, the main development partner is the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Minister of International Cooperation pointed out that Egypt presented an innovative country platform for mobilizing climate finance, and received praise from various partners during COP27 as it includes projects in mitigation and adaptation, attracting investments and achieving a strong return on citizens and comprehensive and sustainable development. Each of the program pillars is led by a major development partner, along with many other partners to enhance joint action at the level of mobilizing various financing mechanisms and investments for the private sector to implement projects.
The Minister of International Cooperation explained that the Ministry is working to follow up on the ongoing portfolio of development cooperation efforts every 3 months and prepares a detailed report on the projects in order to identify and address any challenges, pointing that the ongoing portfolio of projects of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation includes $668 million to implement 8 projects financed by multilateral and bilateral development partners.
During the meeting, the Ministry of International Cooperation's working group presented the projects included in the “NWFE” program, in the food and water pillars, which the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation is co-implementing alongside other relevant ministries, including the project "Adapting crop production in the Nile Valley and Delta", the project "Strengthening resilience of the areas in-need", the project "Modernizing irrigation systems in old agricultural areas", and the project "Establishing early warning systems", where the technical aspects of the projects were addressed, as well as the need to work with other stakeholders to advance coordination with development partners and facilitate the development and implementation of projects.
Each of the projects included in the program has a development impact that promotes inclusivity and the resilience of the targeted citizens and regions to climate change, by increasing crop productivity in the Nile Valley and Delta region, supporting the capacities of small farmers to adapt to the risks and repercussions of climate change, and enabling them to implement policies related to adaptation, tackling sea level rise, achieving food security and increasing income.
The ongoing portfolio of development cooperation for projects affiliated with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, amounting to $668 million, includes work with several development partners, such as the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the OPEC Fund, the European Union, and others where many projects have been implemented.
The development of North Sinai by reclamation of 400,000 feddans, the Bahr El Baqar Water Treatment Plant, the construction of the new Dairout Barrage, the national drainage program, are amongst mentioned projects that show continuous communication at the technical level with the Ministry International Cooperation to follow up the implementation of projects and overcome any challenges.