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  • Monday, 20 November 2023

The Ministry of International Cooperation: Financial Pledges worth €3.5 billion to Implement Sustainable Transportation Projects within the NWFE+ Program

● Al-Mashat: The NWFE+ program is consistent with the country’s efforts since 2014 to develop sustainable infrastructure and enhance the sustainability of supply chains through an environmentally friendly transportation network.

● EIB’s Vigliotti: The NWFE+ program accelerates priority investments and the achievement of the green transformation. The bank is building on its long history with Egypt to support investments that improve the lives of citizens.

The first Progress Report of the NWFE program was issued by the Ministry of International Cooperation on the occasion of the one-year anniversary of the launch of the program. The high level roundtable event featured the highlights of the NWFE program - the nexus between water, food and energy projects-  as well as the “NWFE+” program for sustainable transport projects,, with H.E. the Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, relevant ministries, multilateral and bilateral development partners, and representatives of the private sector.

The program includes a number of sustainable transport projects, namely the project to extend the first line of the metro to Shibin al-Qanater, where the first line extends from Marj to Helwan and transports about 2.5 million passengers daily. The length of the extension is about 19.5 km to connect the governorates of Cairo (Marg) and Qalyubia (Shebin).

Additionally, there is also the project to develop the Abu Qir railway line in Alexandria and convert it into an electric metro (Alexandria Metro), which extends over a distance of 22Km and includes 20 stations to connect downtown Alexandria to the city of Abu Qir.

Thirdly, the project to construct the railway line (Al-Rubiki - 10th of Ramadan - Belbeis), which aims to establish the 10th of Ramadan/Belbeis railway line with a length of 60 km to connect the dry port on the 10th of Ramadan with the railway network.

Fourthly, the Tanta-Mansoura-Damietta railway line project. These projects are scheduled to be implemented by 2030.

The report explained that a partnership agreement was signed between the Ministry of International Cooperation, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Transport, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and the French Development Agency (AFD), where the three financing bodies pledged financing contributions amounting to €3.5 billion in the form of soft development financing, with €1.5 billion from the EIB, €1.5 billion from the EBRD, and €500 million from the AFD to implement sustainable transport projects within the NWFE+ program.

This is in addition to the EBRD coordinating to provide technical support grants to prepare the necessary studies for projects, and providing technical and investment grants from the EU.

The EIB is the main development partner for the sustainable transport pillar, given its international and local experience in implementing transport infrastructure projects, as Egypt is the bank’s first country of operations in the region since the start of cooperation in 1979. The choice of the bank also comes In light of its adoption of the 2021-2025 climate roadmap, it has effectively transformed into the EU Climate Bank.

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, explained that the efforts to enhance the sustainable infrastructure of the transportation sector through the NWFE program enhance the country’s path towards green transformation, and are consistent with the efforts it has been making since 2014 to develop sustainable infrastructure. This is reflected in the creation of a more sustainable chain supply through an environmentally friendly transportation network, enhancing resilience and improving connectivity between different regions in Egypt.

The Vice President of the EIB, Gelsomina Vigliotti said, “The NWFE program brings together partners from Egypt and international partners to accelerate priority investments and achieve the green transformation, and our meeting today supports the program’s success in addressing investment challenges.”

Vigliotti added, “The EIB supports the NWFE program to promote new investments that improve the lives of millions of Egyptians and build on our long journey with Egypt, during which €15 billion were saved invested in the sectors of energy, transportation, food security, climate action, and investment all around Egypt over the past four decades.  Our technical and financial contribution to the NWFE program will be further strengthened through the new regional headquarters of the EIB in Cairo.”

The statement stressed that enhancing sustainable infrastructure efforts through the NWFE+ program is consistent with the state’s development efforts to create an appropriate climate in the transportation sector and enhance investments for sustainable infrastructure.

In a related context, the report of the Ministry of International Cooperation indicated coordination with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to unify efforts and visions regarding the implementation of sustainable transportation projects, especially since the Asian Bank was established in 2016 to be one of the financing arms of the Belt and Road Initiative launched by China in 2013. This aims to improve infrastructure, especially in the transportation sector, which intersects with Egypt's Vision 2030, which pays great attention to infrastructure projects in the sectors of transportation, energy, information technology, and utility connectivity projects. It should be noted that the activity of the AIIB  has expanded to become one of the most important financial institutions on the international scene concerned with financing green infrastructure projects.

Egypt and the EIB have joint development relations that extend to decades of joint work, as the EIB has worked with Egypt since 1979 in many fields related to supporting Egypt’s transition to a green economy, where its comparative advantage lies in its accreditation as the main climate bank of the EU. From this standpoint, the bank, in cooperation with the Egyptian government, is determined to maximize its investments in green technologies and sustainable infrastructure, by supporting Egypt in fulfilling its climate obligations.