CAIRO - 3 October 2022: The World Bank Group (WBG) announced the approval of a $400 million development financing CAIRO-agreement to develop sustainable infrastructure in the transport sector in Egypt, supporting the transition towards low-carbon transport along the Alexandria–the 6th of October–Greater Cairo Area (GCA) railway corridor.
Within the framework of the Cairo Alexandria Trade Logistics Development Project, a railway will be constructed to decrease traffic. This will provide freight trains between the Alexandria Sea Port and the newly constructed 6th of October Dry Port, with an alternative route to the west of Greater Cairo. The operational bypass will also allow 15 container trains per day by 2030, and as demand increases, 50 trains by 2060 to this dry port, along with additional freight trains flowing between the Alexandria Port, Upper Egypt, and the Red Sea.
This project will strengthen the railway network in Egypt, one of the largest railway networks in the African continent; enhancing the country’s green transition and move towards low carbon emissions. Moreover, the WBG estimates that the project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 965,000 tons over 30 years.
The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat said that development financing approved by the WBG has a term of 29 years, including a 7 years grace period, while also including technical and institutional support for the National Railways Authority, emphasizing that this will also enhance Egypt’s national efforts to increase private sector participation in development efforts.
Al-Mashat added that the new project comes within the framework of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt’s directives to utilize partnerships with the development partners to achieve the national goals. This also reflects the strategic relations between the WBG and the Government of Egypt across various fields of developments, especially in sustainable infrastructure and in the green economy transition. The project is in line with the national objectives to accelerate efforts to develop sustainable infrastructure and reduce harmful emissions through the expansion of green projects, in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the National Climate Change Strategy 2050; also coming ahead of COP27.
The project, as per Al-Mashat, also enhances the efforts of international partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners to support efforts towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Minister also pointed out that within the development financing portfolio, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, accounting for 22.3% and encompassing 35 projects worth $5.9 billion. Additionally, the project supports the green transition, part of the $26 billion portfolio of adaptation and mitigation projects worth $11.8 billion.
The Minister also stated that the Government of Egypt, since 2014, has been committed to development efforts and climate action. Al-Mashat explained that all development projects include a component related to green transformation, taking into account environmental standards, which is evident in adaptation and mitigation projects supported by development partners.
“This operation is part of a wider set of efforts dedicated to offering timely and comprehensive support to Egypt's economic development and climate change plans,” said Marina Wes, WBG Country Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti. “We hope that through supporting more job creation, including for women, a cleaner environment, and providing safer mobility, the operation will contribute towards a brighter and more prosperous future for all Egyptians,” added Wes.
The WBG, one of Egypt’s key development partners, is also participating in discussions on the
Egypt Country Platform for NWFE Program, a nexus of water, food and energy, which reflects COP27 objectives in going from pledges to implementation. Last June, a high-level delegation from the WBG’s Board of Executive Directors visited Cairo, and issued a statement showing the bank’s commitment to continue supporting development priorities in Egypt.
The ongoing development finance portfolio between Egypt and the WBG includes 15 projects worth $5.7 billion in the sectors of health, entrepreneurship and SMEs, transport, and social protection, among many other areas.