Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, announced that the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors has approved a new $200 Million project with Egypt to improve air quality, combat climate change, reduce emissions of air pollutants and global warming, and improve solid waste management in Greater Cairo.
The minister emphasized that this investment represents the state’s commitment to protect the environment and combat climate change through the Green Recovery Plan, which creates a direct link between pollution and citizens' health and productivity. Al-Mashat referred to the coordination that took place between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministries of Environment and Local Development over the past period to complete the negotiation processes with the World Bank, where a cooperation platform was held with the participation of stakeholders from government agencies and the World Bank Group to discuss the objectives of the project according to the sustainable development goals. The minister stressed that the Ministry seeks to enhance economic diplomacy through three principles: regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners. ’The hazards of air pollution and climate change are endless and can span decades,’’ said Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment. “Through this partnership with the World Bank, we aim to give our children and youth a healthier future, where they can prosper, grow, and fulfill their potential.’’ The new air pollution reduction and climate change project aims to: i) modernize Egypt’s Air Quality Management System and strengthen the ability of Greater Cairo’s population to cope with high pollution events, including events caused or exacerbated by emissions and climate extremes; ii) support solid waste management in Greater Cairo, including plans for the construction of an integrated waste management facility at the 10th of Ramadan City, the closure and rehabilitation of the Abou-Zaabal dumpsite, and strengthening the regulatory framework for waste management; iii) contribute to vehicle emissions’ reduction by supporting the piloting of electric buses in the public sector and related infrastructure, including charging stations, and assessing the technical and financial feasibility of scaling this up; and, iv) to implement activities aimed at behavioral change by communities and service providers and ensure citizen engagement in project design and implementation. For her, Marina Weiss, Regional Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti at the World Bank said, ‘’For development to be sustainable and inclusive, it is crucial that environmental quality is tended to well, and not adversely affected by development in other areas, and that the most vulnerable groups of society are not bearing the cost of a polluted environment. This operation is an integral part of our work to improve the quality of life for Egyptians, enabling them to benefit from a whole array of development projects, while staying healthy and productive.’’