Ambassador Christian Berger, head of the European Union delegation to Egypt, expressed the EU’s interest in strengthening cooperation with Cairo in the water sector.
Berger stressed that the EU attaches great importance to water and the utilization of natural resources and has responded to the challenges associated with this sector in Egypt since 2007 through various programs, which contributed to creating job opportunities and improving the quality of life for the Egyptian population.
His remarks came during a conference held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Cairo Water Week (CWW), under the title, “Financing Water Projects… Challenges and Opportunities.”
The conference was organized by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in partnership with the Delegation of the European Union to Egypt, the French Development Agency (AFD), and the German Development Bank (KfW).
EIB Director of Lending Operations in EU Neighboring Countries, Flavia Palanza said the comprehensive Egypt Vision 2030 and the National Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation (2008-2037) are excellent frameworks for policy dialogue and to guide investments in priority areas and projects in the water sector.
Palanza pointed to many challenges associated to climate change, stressing that the financial means were not sufficient to meet them, especially due to the coronavirus pandemic.
She stressed the importance of cooperation in the water sector, especially with Egypt, saying that the EU was committed to providing and adopting a comprehensive approach, grants and loans in order to enhance the benefits.
Also on Tuesday, Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation Mohamed Abdel Aty met with Oliver Varhelyi, the EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement.
“The European Union prioritizes the water issue, which is a major determinant of sustainable development, with its associated economic and social dimensions,” Varhelyi said.
The EU official expressed his understanding of the importance of the Nile River for Egypt as the main source of water in the country.
The meeting touched on a number of issues of common interest in which Egypt and the EU can strengthen their partnership, including climate change and migration.