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  • Monday, 20 November 2023

The First Progress Report on the NWFE Program: Results of the Efforts to Mobilize Development Funds and Innovative Financing Tools to Implement Food Pillar Projects.

● Pledges from development partners to provide $1.7 billion in innovative financing tools to implement 5 projects in the food pillar.

● Continued coordination with development partners and national authorities to complete the technical preparation of projects and complete efforts to mobilize innovative financing mechanisms.

● Al-Mashat: Food security is the country’s top priority, and we are working through the NWFE program to implement ambitious projects in the field of adaptation.

● Vice President of the IFAD: Increasing investments in rural communities facing climate change is an urgent matter. We are working to build a sustainable future and build the capabilities of smallholders.

● IsDB: We are keen to support Egypt in its ambitious development plans and support its consistent approach to developing infrastructure and supporting food security.

The first progress report issued by the Ministry of International Cooperation, on the developments achieved in implementing the NWFE program, revealed the results of coordination with multilateral and bilateral development partners and national bodies over the past year, with regard to the implementation of food pillar projects within the program. This includes implementing 5 projects: “Adaptation of Crop Production in the Nile Valley and Delta”,  “Adaptation of the Northern Delta Affected by Sea Level Rise”, “Enhancing Resilience in Vulnerable Areas”, “Modernizing Irrigation System in Old Agricultural Lands” and “Establish an Early Warning System”

The first progress report of the NWFE program stated that, over the course of a year, the program worked to mobilize international and national efforts to formulate an innovative financing framework for the implementation of food pillar projects in the agricultural and irrigation sectors, so that it is based on stimulating the participation of the private sector in implementing green development projects, and enhancing its involvement in climate action and its contribution to financing and implementing strategies and projects to mitigate climate change and adapt to its effects, to increase agricultural productivity, enhance sustainability, enhance food security, and reduce the burdens on the state and the Egyptian government.

For her part, the Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, explained the importance of the food security pillar as it is the Government of Egypt’s top priority, especially in light of the development challenges facing the entire world, and through the NWFE program, the state is working to implement ambitious projects in the field of adaptation to climate change in order to enhance food security, support small farmers, and achieve rural and agricultural development.

Underscoring IFAD's dedication to the successful implementation of the Food Pillar, Vice-President Gerardine Mukeshimana said: “Scaling up investment in rural communities at the forefront of climate change is urgent. We expect tangible impacts from our collective efforts to strengthen resilience, livelihoods and food security for rural people. Together we strive to build a future characterized by resilient food systems, sustainable energy sources and thriving rural communities.”

Mukishimana added, “The CROWN project aims to empower smallholder farmers and build their resilience to climate change by enhancing water management, leading to increased farm productivity and profitability.”

For its part, the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) affirmed its partnership with the government in the NWFE program, and its keenness to support member states in confronting the challenges of climate change and reducing its effects, in accordance with its policy on climate change, which includes voluntary principles for mainstreaming climate action, indicating its keenness to support Egypt in its plans. It’s an ambitious development company since 1974 and has been supporting its consistent approach to developing its infrastructure for energy efficiency, supporting food security, resource conservation and replenishing water sources.

Innovative Financing Tools

The Ministry of International Cooperation added that the food pillar includes 5 projects with investments of about $3.35 billion, while the total pledges from multilateral and bilateral development partners have so far amounted to about $1.74 billion, through cooperation with the IsDB, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), The European Investment Bank (EIB), the French Development Agency (AFD), and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the projects are implemented in close coordination with the relevant national authorities represented in the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation.

Development Partners

The report stated that the IFAD was chosen as a main partner for the food pillar due to the Fund’s extensive global experience in the field of comprehensive and sustainable agricultural and rural development, its ability to find integrated solutions, mobilize development financing and resource burden, and its commitment to climate financing and supporting the capabilities of small landholders to adapt to the climate.

It has been announced that the World Bank is a major technical partner for projects on “Adaptation of Crop Production in the Nile Valley and Delta” and “Establishing an Early Warning System for Climate Change.” The entities signed a letter of partnership with the aim of establishing institutional arrangements for the World Bank to provide the necessary technical support, prepare the technical design of the two projects, and sign two letters of cooperation with The EIB and the EU aimed to provide the necessary technical support to prepare the technical design of the adaptation project in the northern delta affected by sea level rise. The IsDB was announced as a leading technical development partner for the project to achieve resilience in the most remote and vulnerable areas. 

The Development Impact of the Projects

Food projects have an impact on millions of citizens in the target, as the“Adaptation of Crop Production in the Nile Valley and Delta” works to enhance crop productivity and their adaptation to climate changes in the Nile Valley and Delta region, and to support the capabilities of small farmers to adapt to the risks and repercussions of climate change, and it is expected that about 30 million citizens of the Nile Valley and Delta will benefit from it. It also contributes to increasing crop productivity by 10-15% and increasing income by 10-20%.

The project to establish an early warning system works to establish early warning units and systems to improve the weather change forecasting system, support the services provided to farmers within the framework of agricultural weather forecasting, and establish an agricultural insurance system against the risks of climate change in risk-prone areas. With regard to the adaptation project in the North Delta region affected by sea level rise, it is scheduled to benefit 10 million citizens, and it works to enable smallholder farmers to implement policies related to adaptation and confront sea level rise, and to enhance the response of rural communities to disasters and the effects resulting from Sea level rise, and encouraging agricultural diversification in order to achieve food security and increase incomes.

As for the project to achieve resilience in the most remote and needy areas, which works to increase the resilience of climate-vulnerable areas through specific interventions aimed at improving farmers’ livelihoods. This is in desert and remote areas, and the population of those areas, which are expected to benefit from the project activities, is about 5 million people, through the introduction of many adaptation techniques that would help vulnerable communities reduce losses.

While the project to modernize irrigation systems in old agricultural lands aims to increase the efficiency of the irrigation process from 50% to 70%, it will also enhance the provision of job opportunities for more than 21,000 men and women among the neediest in rural areas, improve adaptation capabilities, reduce vulnerability, empower communities exposed to the dangers of climate change, reduce irrigation water losses by 20%, increasing crop production by 15%, and providing water to add 2.5% of the area to cultivated land. It is scheduled to be integrated with the project to improve agricultural climate resilience by modernizing agricultural practices.

Technical Qualification of Projects

The report stated that the previous period witnessed the reception of a number of technical missions from the main development partners for all food pillar projects of the NWFE program and the holding of a series of technical discussions with the relevant ministries, which resulted in a number of outputs and perceptions regarding the implementation of these projects, as all consultations concluded the technical qualification in which the concerned authorities and development partners participated highlighted the importance of the following:

Missions and Technical Meetings Throughout the Year

Achieving linkage and integration between a number of projects, especially in light of the presence of a number of points of similarity in their scope and the targeted geographical scope, and achieving the maximum possible benefit from the resources available from development partners, which requires developing the components and processes of the project to cover the broader and more comprehensive development scope and including technical ministries for the project to work on these components are integrated.

In coordination with development partners and the Ministries of Agriculture and Irrigation, the project “Modernizing irrigation systems in old agricultural lands” from the food pillar was merged with the project “Improving agricultural climate resilience by modernizing agricultural practices” from the water pillar, in light of the similarities in the general scope and the target geographical scope. This helps in achieving the maximum possible benefit from the operations that will be implemented within the framework of the project to develop the irrigation system in its broadest and most comprehensive sense, to achieve water and food security.

The projects “Adaptation of Crop Production in the Nile Valley and Delta” and “Establishing an Early Warning System” were also merged under the title “Climate Resilient Agri-Food Transformation – CRAFT”, with the inclusion of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation as a technical body for the beneficiaries of the project in order to work to achieve comprehensive and sustainable rural development through the components of the project.

The proposed tools and mechanisms for financing the project were also discussed, and appropriate financing conditions were provided to support the parties involved in implementation and enhance the role of the private sector in comprehensive rural development projects.

Future targets

In continuation of coordination between the various relevant entities, the coming period will witness the completion of the technical aspects, in preparation for the start of implementation, and the completion of the process of mobilizing financing mechanisms and private sector investments.