Hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and EBRD, organized by International Project Finance Association (IPFA) and in collaboration with the World Bank, International Finance Cooperation and the European Investment Bank, Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania Al Mashat, participates in the “Building A Better Future” panel at the Global Infrastructure Forum 2020, which aims to enhance coordination among multilateral development banks and their development partners to better develop sustainable, accessible and resilient infrastructure for emerging countries.
The event was attended by H.E. Dr. Vladyslav Kryklii, Minister of Infrastructure in Ukraine, Mr. Thierry Deau, Founder and CEO of Meridiam, Dr. Beata Javorcik, Chief Economist at EBRD, Dr. Erik Berglof, Chief Economist at Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Ms. Marie Lam-Frendo, CEO at G20 Global Infrastructure Hub, and moderated by Nandita Parshad, Managing Director, Sustainable InfraGroup at the EBRD. Amidst the woes of the Covid-19 pandemic, infrastructure has become a key priority sector for policymakers and MDBs as a means to boost employment, support economic recovery and accelerate investment in green infrastructure in light of the impacts of climate change. MULTILATERALISM TO CLOSE INFRASTRUCTURE GAP According to the Global Infrastructure Hub, the world will be facing a $15 trillion gap between projected investment and required development assistance to provide adequate global infrastructure by 2040. To bridge the infrastructure gap, Al Mashat highlighted that multilateral development banks can play a vital role in the suspension of debt service payments and boosting crisis lending as an alternative to other expensive forms of financing to enable a faster recovery. “Multilateralism is an opportunity for the continent to unite and create a historical new collaboration model, and ensure that there is an exchange of knowledge, experiences and expertise to ensure that no one is left behind and push for a human-centered economy,” H.E. Dr, Rania Al Mashat, added. This can be achieved through four actions, namely: accelerating inclusive economics and societies, shaping a new vision for economic integration through mutually supportive institutional mechanisms and regulatory environments, harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution to connect the region’s digital economies, and finally promoting environmental stewardship through supporting innovative green projects. EGYPT’S GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE TRANSFORMATION Al Mashat noted that Egypt has been witnessing a transformation in infrastructure over the past few years, with a variety of projects that include 35 projects in the housing sectors worth USD 5657 million, with over 120,000 residential units being built across the country. Protecting the environment, biodiversity and natural ecosystems is placed at the core of the government’s sustainable urban development plan, which aims to invest in green infrastructure. Al Mashat noted that around 6.879 million dollars are contributed to Goal 7 for affordable and clean energy, 6,354 million dollars for goal 9 on industry innovation and infrastructure and 1,326 million dollars for Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities. Al Mashat added that Alexandria and Cairo, the biggest cities in Egypt, have joined the Bank’s Green Cities initiative to complete green transportation strategy for the city. Moving forward, Al Mashat emphasized on adopting a reality based approach to infrastructure delivery, bringing together all key players in both the public and private sectors to create consensus and identify the challenges in each of the phases and apply resilient risk mitigation accordingly.