Joint Press Release with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation
● Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat: “We are working on continuous coordination between national entities and development partners to implement the "NWFE" program and stimulate the private sector by implementing projects through blended financing.”
● Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, H.E. Dr. Hani Sewilam: “The water sector comes at the top of the Government of Egypt’s concerns, and the water pillar is one of the most important axes of the "NWFE Program" where the projects aim to develop the irrigation system in an integrated way from sub-irrigation to the application of modern irrigation systems at the field level.”
● The program takes into account national needs and priorities, and works to implement them through joint cooperation between government, development partners and the private sector.
● Egypt has created an innovative model of national platforms for climate action through projects that achieve returns and development impact on citizens and promote adaptation and mitigation of climate change impacts.
● The ongoing development cooperation portfolio is worth $668 million to implement 8 projects.
The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat and Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation H.E. Dr. Hani Sewilam held an extensive meeting at the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation headquarters, to discuss the latest developments and technical details of the works and projects included in the fields of water and food within the national platform for green projects "NWFE” Program, and follow up on the status of ongoing projects in the water resources, irrigation and food security sectors funded by development partners.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat emphasized the coordinating role of the Ministry of International Cooperation, in strengthening relations between national agencies and multilateral and bilateral development partners, explaining that with the launch of the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in light of Egypt's efforts for the green transition, a set of priority projects were selected in the water, food and energy pillars to make up Egypt’s Country Platform for the NWFE Program, also mobilizing various financing mechanisms and blended finance that stimulate the participation of the private sector to implement development projects.
Al-Mashat pointed to the Ministry's keenness to communicate at the technical level with all national entities to continuously view their requirements and needs at the level of facilitated development financing, grants and technical support, explaining that the “NWFE” program is a national approach to strengthen mitigation and adaptation efforts to climate change, and stimulate the green transition, in order to become a model for developing countries and emerging economies in mobilizing climate financing. Each of the program's pillars have a lead development partner; for the energy axis, the main development partner is the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), in the food axis, the main development partner is the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and in the water axis, the main development partner is the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The Minister of International Cooperation pointed out that Egypt presented an innovative country platform for mobilizing climate finance, and received praise from various partners during COP27 as it includes projects in mitigation and adaptation, attracting investments and achieving a strong return on citizens and comprehensive and sustainable development. Each of the program pillars is led by a major development partner, along with many other partners to enhance joint action at the level of mobilizing various financing mechanisms and investments for the private sector to implement projects.
The Minister of International Cooperation explained that the Ministry is working to follow up on the ongoing portfolio of development cooperation efforts every 3 months and prepares a detailed report on the projects in order to identify and address any challenges, pointing that the ongoing portfolio of projects of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation includes $668 million to implement 8 projects financed by multilateral and bilateral development partners.
During the meeting, the Ministry of International Cooperation's working group presented the projects included in the “NWFE” program, in the food and water pillars, which the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation is co-implementing alongside other relevant ministries, including the project "Adapting crop production in the Nile Valley and Delta", the project "Strengthening resilience of the areas in-need", the project "Modernizing irrigation systems in old agricultural areas", and the project "Establishing early warning systems", where the technical aspects of the projects were addressed, as well as the need to work with other stakeholders to advance coordination with development partners and facilitate the development and implementation of projects.
Each of the projects included in the program has a development impact that promotes inclusivity and the resilience of the targeted citizens and regions to climate change, by increasing crop productivity in the Nile Valley and Delta region, supporting the capacities of small farmers to adapt to the risks and repercussions of climate change, and enabling them to implement policies related to adaptation, tackling sea level rise, achieving food security and increasing income.
The ongoing portfolio of development cooperation for projects affiliated with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, amounting to $668 million, includes work with several development partners, such as the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the OPEC Fund, the European Union, and others where many projects have been implemented.
The development of North Sinai by reclamation of 400,000 feddans, the Bahr El Baqar Water Treatment Plant, the construction of the new Dairout Barrage, the national drainage program, are amongst mentioned projects that show continuous communication at the technical level with the Ministry International Cooperation to follow up the implementation of projects and overcome any challenges.
Dr. Sewilam explained that the water resources and irrigation pillar under the “NWFE” program include a number of projects aimed at strengthening climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, shifting towards a green economy, expanding the use of solar energy in the field of water raising and desalination, improving climate resilience through the modernization of agricultural practices, and transitioning to modern irrigation systems in agriculture provided that the latest globally used systems are used taking into account all water, environmental, economic, social and other dimensions.
Moreover, Dr. Sewilam added that the water pillar is one of the most important part of the “NWFE: Program as this sector is one of the Government of Egypt’s priority concerns, noting that several major projects are being implemented to promote the sustainable management of water resources, enhance the capacity of the water sector and support the sustainability of food security. This especially in light of the important interconnection between water, energy and food to achieve food security and address the many challenges facing the water and food axes in Egypt and the world.
H.E. explained that one of the proposed projects under the umbrella of the "NWFE" program is the project “Improving Agricultural Climate Resilience by Modernizing On-Farm Practices” to raise water efficiency and productivity under water scarcity conditions, which is to be supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). This project includes the rehabilitation for watering cans with the use of units pumping water with solar energy in integration with the rehabilitation of canals, taking into account the controls set by the Ministry in the field of rehabilitation of canals, and the implementation of modern irrigation works, while giving priority to work in the project in sugar cane and fruit orchards, according to the strategy and vision of the Ministry in this regard.
The “NWFE” program also includes the World Bank co-funded “Climate Resilience through Agro-Food Transformation” project, which includes integrated irrigation system development from sub-grassland to modern irrigation systems at the field level, support for private sector participation in agricultural practices, early warning system creation, and support and capacity building in water accounting.
Additionally, the “NWFE” program also includes the project "Scaling up Solar Pumps for Irrigation" which is planned to be supported by the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), aims to expand the use of solar energy in the field of water lifting from wells and pumping water in developed waterways and into desalination, taking into account the specifications developed by the Ministry in the field of solar energy use in irrigation pumps and wells, and identifying the proposed places for the implementation of the project.