The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a governmental agreement with the Egyptian government for EUR 214m to support the Kitchener Drain depollution project.
The new financing is part of the EIB’s Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) and will improve the sanitation and solid waste services for about 6 million people in the Nile delta region.
The agreement was signed on October 17 at the headquarters of the EIB in Luxembourg by Dr. Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation and EIB President Werner Hoyer.
“As the world’s largest lender in the global water sector, we are signing today a new agreement supporting the depollution of a crucial drain in Egypt. This project will have a great impact, as it will make sanitation services more available and improve the quality of water and farming conditions in the Nile Delta region.
“Overall, the project will contribute to raising the living standards of Egyptians in many governorates. Our finance for the project comes under the Economic Resilience Initiative that seeks to improve the resilience of the Egyptian economy and build stronger socio-economic infrastructure”, said Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB at the signing ceremony.
This is the first phase of a larger investment programme that was identified by an EU financed pre-feasibility study under the supervision of the Mediterranean HotSpots Investment Program II. The project aims at the depollution of the 69 km long Kitchener Drain, which extends across the Governorates of Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region. It is structured as an integrated depollution project comprised of investments in wastewater and sanitation, solid waste, and drain rehabilitation – a first of its kind in Egypt.
Improving water security
The EIB’s financing supports investments in domestic wastewater collection and treatment comprising both the rehabilitation and expansion of existing and the development of new infrastructure. In addition, the EBRD will finance the solid waste and drain rehabilitation components of the project. Finally, the EU is supporting the project through a substantial grant contribution of EUR 45.8m through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF). The EU-NIF contribution will finance both investments and technical assistance and is critical to catalyse the investment.
The project will improve the water security of communities and ecosystems while contributing to improved quality of life and socio-economic development of a predominantly rural area. Up to approximately 6 million people are expected to benefit from the new and improved sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the foreseen investments.
The agreement brings EIB’s total finance to Egypt in 2018 to approximately EUR 740m, with the water and wastewater sectors as well as SMEs and Mid-caps as the main beneficiaries. The Bank is also hoping to extend additional financing to projects in the wastewater and transport sector (up to additional EUR 430m planned for these sectors) and in support of SMEs and Mid-caps until year-end.