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  • Wednesday, 06 December 2023

The IFAD Organizes a Special Session to Review the NWFE program as a Leading National Platform for Bridging the Climate Financing Gap during the Activities of COP28 and in the Presence of the Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat

● Al-Mashat: The NWFE program is a practical application of the principles of fair financing and an effective model for stimulating concessional financing in the areas of mitigation and adaptation.

● The financing structure of the NWFE program includes advisory services, rehabilitation, technical support, grants, concessional financing, private-sector investments, and debt swaps.

● Saleh: Egypt plays a pivotal role at the regional level and the NWFE program strengthens the global landscape for food security and climate action.

During the activities of COP28 held in the United Arab Emirates, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) organized a special session to discuss the national platform of the NWFE program, the pillar of the link between water, food and energy projects, and its role as a leading national institution in bridging the climate financing gap and promoting development and transformation efforts. The session highlighted the program as a replicable model in developing countries and emerging economies, to overcome climate challenges and enhance the capacity to mobilize financing for mitigation and adaptation projects.

The International Fund for Agricultural Development hosted Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, to talk about the platform and the progress achieved since its launch at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. Also invited was Donal Brown, IFAD’s Associate Vice President. Programme Management, Syed Hussein Qadri, Director of the Resilience and Climate Action Department at the Islamic Development Bank (ISDB), Meskerem Burhan, Regional Director for Sustainable Development for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank Group (WBG), and Wael Ismail, Corporate Affairs for Africa, Middle East and South Asia (AMESA). The session was moderated by Dina Saleh, Regional Director of the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division at the IFAD.

Al-Mashat reviewed what was achieved over a full year of joint work with development partners within the NWFE program platform, stressing that in light of the government’s commitment to strengthening climate action, clarity in project formulation, as well as credibility in dealing with the international community, The program was formulated to be an alternative national platform to the Just Energy Transition Partnerships (JETP) platform, which was implemented by countries that use coal in order to reduce their contributions to environmental pollution.

The NWFE program platform came to stimulate the efforts of the government of Egypt in implementing the National Strategy for Climate Change 2050 through a specific set of projects based on the interconnection between the water, food and energy sectors, in addition to sustainable transport.

H.E. continued, “When we read the COP28 declaration on the new climate financing framework, as well as the joint statement of the multilateral development banks, we find a clear indication and continuous emphasis on the importance of a just transition, as well as the role of national platforms in stimulating climate action, which reflects that Egypt was the first to launch a program. It was developed, ahead of the previous climate conference, COP27, to be a state-owned contribution that advances global climate action, stimulates national efforts for the green transition, provides a model for developing countries and emerging economies to replicate to stimulate equitable climate financing, and creates a platform that enhances engagement, coordination, and integration among various relevant parties in order to meet the climate ambitions of countries.”

In this regard, Al-Mashat noted that Egypt launched two initiatives during the presidency of COP27 with the aim of moving from pledges to implementation. Namely, the Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing and the NWFE Program, noting that the guidebook promotes the principles of just finance and defines the roles and responsibilities of all relevant parties to stimulate the ability of developing and emerging countries to attract environmentally friendly financing and investments, especially through private sector projects, while the NWFE program represents a practical application of the principles of just finance as it represents an effective model for regional and concessional financing approaches to deal with adaptation, mitigation and resilience issues.

Al-Mashat stated that the NWFE program succeeded, through partnerships with international financial institutions and international alliances in the field of climate action, and climate investment funds, as innovative and stimulating financing tools for private sector investments in climate projects. From this standpoint, the financing structure includes advisory services, Feasibility studies, qualification and technical support for projects, a platform for grants, and the required soft and innovative development financing, in addition to credit guarantees, debt swaps, and finally banking and investment matching for the private sector’s participation in each project.

H.E. noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in light of its keenness on transparency and strengthening governance principles, held a preliminary event ahead of COP28, during which it launched the first follow-up progress report for the NWFE program, which includes details of everything achieved over the course of a year.

Follow-up report of the NWFE program:

Link to the joint final statement of 20 development partners on the NWFE program:

Al-Mashat praised the partnership with the IFAD, the main development partner in the food pillar, and other development partners in the energy, water, and sustainable transport pillars, for the efforts and achievements achieved over the course of a year of joint work.

The Regional Director of IFAD, Dina Saleh, said that Egypt is one of the countries most exposed to the negative effects of climate change, especially in the Nile Delta regions, and that the projects included within the NWFE program come to mitigate those effects by focusing on the areas most vulnerable to negative effects, and improving the ability of young small farmers and residents of the regions must withstand and adapt to these changes. She explained that in light of Egypt’s vital role in the Middle East and North Africa region, the program is considered a model for replication in order to accelerate the pace of green transformation and contribute to the global landscape of food security and climate action.

Watch the full discussion session: