Dr. Nasr: "The grant came within the framework of the President's directives to accelerate the development of informal settlements and we aim to secure USD 100 million in support of the project".

On 12 February 2017, the Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr and Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Ms. Leila Mokaddem signed a grant worth EGP 10 million provided by the Technical Assistance Fund of Middle-Income Countries, affiliated to AfDB, in favor of the Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF), in presence of Dr. Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, and Dr. Ahmed Darwish, Deputy- Minister of Housing for Informal Settlements.
 
The Minister stated that the grant came within the framework of the President's directives to accelerate the development of informal settlements, which would, in turn, contribute to improving standards of living for the poor through providing housing areas with a social dimension, infrastructure, sanitation and clean water. 
 
The development of informal settlements, emphasized Dr. Nasr, especially life-threatening areas such as decrepit buildings, would be one of the state's key priorities during the upcoming period, given that the project falls under the government's program submitted to the parliament by PM Sheriff Ismael and approved.
 
The Minister pointed out that the purpose of the grant was to finance the technical assistance project for the development of informal settlements so as to conduct the necessary studies for dealing with slums and unsafe areas and to support the sustainable development strategy “Egypt’s Vision 2030”, aiming to implement an integrated and dynamic urban plan, substitute and develop informal settlements by 2017-2018 and improve the quality of life. The project will finance four studies of upcoming projects for the development of informal settlements in Egypt. 
 
Dr. Nasr further explained that ISDF would be supported, through this component, to conduct relevant studies by recruiting specialized advisory firms, to study the impact assessment of the implemented informal settlements development projects and to set the terms of reference of feasibility studies, including designs, tender documents, and development plans of at least three informal settlements along with social and economic aspects of such areas, besides studying the best international practices relating to the strategies of creating job opportunities and eliminating unemployment in informal settlements. This is in addition to evaluating the training needs of the ISDF’s staff and training them to use the public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the housing sector, along with referring to the financial, social and economic development of informal settlements. The Minister also mentioned that further grants would be dedicated to supporting informal settlements during the upcoming period with the aim to reach up to USD 100 million.
 
Part of the USD 500 million funding provided by the World Bank (WB) for Upper Egypt’s Development Program would be allocated to housing projects, asserted Dr. Nasr. 
 
For his Part, Dr. Madbouly expressed his appreciation of Dr. Nasr for securing funds in support of national projects implemented by the Ministry of Housing, through Egypt’s development partners, in order to improve citizens’ lives. He explained that the Ministry of Housing was determined to eliminate the problem of informal settlements within two years, noting that they aimed to secure USD 100 million for the development of informal settlements and that 10.000 housing units would be established in Upper Egypt’s governorates. 
 
The Relocation of citizens would take place in life-threatening areas, and other areas such as Asmarat would be developed by establishing integrated living areas, added Dr. Madbouly. 
 
Ms. Mokaddem, on the other hand, ascertained that the grant was associated with a project worth USD 80 million that would be provided in June 2017, while noting that this funding aimed to contribute to sustainable development in Egypt and that AfDB was determined to provide the third tranche worth USD 500 million to support the government’s economic and social program during 2017.