Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission, Johannes Hahn and Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation, Sahar Nasr- Press Photo
CAIRO – 30 October 2017: Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission Johannes Hahn visited Egypt on Sunday to discuss EU activities supporting Egypt's economic stabilization.
This visit follows the adoption of partnership priorities with Egypt in July 2017 and to discuss how these priorities will be implemented.
Egyptian Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the EU Single Support Framework for Egypt, which sets out the EU's priorities for bilateral assistance to Egypt for the period 2017-2020, in line with the partnership priorities.
These MoUs cover economic modernization, energy sustainability, environment, social development and protection, and they aim to help vulnerable groups enter the job market.
In addition, Hahn and Nasr signed three new financing agreements for EU-funded projects, which will boost socioeconomic development in Egypt.
These include EU support to strategic investment projects with €46 million in grants, leveraging almost €600 million in soft loans from European Financial Institutions in order to support improved sanitation services as well as the rehabilitation of Alexandria’s Raml Tram.
A €60 million grant will help Egypt deal with the pressures of hosting immigrants and refugees, and it will help stabilize communities prone to migration.
Commissioner Hahn commented, "the EU is Egypt's first trade partner and is its largest source of investment. Where our interests coincide, we should work together to build prosperity and develop the conditions that can attract investment into the country. This is good for Egyptians and Europeans alike."
EU assistance to Egypt currently stands at more than €1.3 billion in ongoing grant commitments. Together with EU member states and European financial institutions' grants, loans and debt swaps, this figure amount to a total of €11 billion, making the EU the biggest donor in Egypt.
The new EU-Egypt Single Support Framework 2017-2020 sets out the EU's priorities for bilateral assistance to Egypt under the European Neighborhood Instrument for the period 2017-2020. It foresees between €432 and €528 million for Egypt.
Through those financing agreements, the EU will support the following strategic cooperation programmes in Egypt, which will have direct benefits to citizens:
1.The Fayyoum Waste Water Expansion Program is an EU grant of €38 million. €360 million in soft loans from the EIB and the EBRD will be leveraged.
This program will provide access to improved sanitation services to nearly 1 million inhabitants and increase the coverage of sanitation services in the Fayyoum from just over 30 percent to almost 90 percent. It is also expected to create over 30,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
2.The Rehabilitation of Alexandria’s Raml Tram Program with an EU grant of €8 million. €237.7 million in soft loans from the EIB and the AFD will be leveraged to rehabilitate the Alexandria’s Raml Tram.
The rehabilitated tramway will have doubled capacity and will reduce waiting times, which will benefit more than 200,000 passengers per day.
3. The Enhancing the Response to Migration Challenges in Egypt Program with an EU grant of €60 million. The EU will support Egypt's efforts in enhancing migration management, addressing the roots causes of irregular migration and sustaining Egyptian communities hosting migrants and refugees. The program covers seven projects in total.