EIB signs €214m loan for Kitchener Drain depollution project in Egypt

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a €214 million financing agreement for the Kitchener Drain depollution project in Egypt – one of two loans totalling €229 million to support sanitation and community infrastructure in Egypt.

The investments will contribute to the development of a sustainable modern economy – a key element of the EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities. The signing ceremony took place in Sharm El-Sheikh on the margins of the “Business for Africa Forum 2018” in the presence of H.E. the Prime Minister of Egypt Mustapha Madbouli.

EIB’s President Werner Hoyer said the EU bank continued to support a sustainable, modern economy in Egypt and to reinforce its economic resilience, commenting:

“We are proud to announce that with today’s signatures total EIB financing signed in Egypt since 2012 reaches € 5 billion. The projects we finance in Egypt make a substantial difference to people’s lives. The Kitchener Drain depollution project is a good example, it will improve the availability of sanitation services as well as drain infrastructure in the Delta region.”

The € 214 million loan for the Kitchener Drain depollution project 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 will reduce pollution in the 69 km long Kitchener Drain, which extends across the Governorates of Gharbia, Kafr El-Sheikh and Dakahlia in the Nile Delta region. The multilateral cooperation is part of an integrated depollution project comprising number of investments financed by the European Investment Bank, the European Union – Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in wastewater and sanitation, solid waste, and drain rehabilitation– a first of its kind in Egypt.

The Kitchener Drain is one of the most severely polluted drains in Egypt causing significant environmental, economic and social harm. Pollution of the Kitchener Drain emanates from three main sources:

  • domestic wastewater (poorly treated and/or untreated) from numerous villages within the three governorates
  • uncontrolled municipal solid waste disposed of along the banks and into the drains
  • industrial wastewater discharge and fertilisers and pesticides discharges from the agricultural drainage system.

Approximately 6 million people are expected to benefit from improved and new sanitation and solid waste services as a result of the investments. By contributing to the depollution of the Mediterranean Sea, the project also supports the objectives of the Clean Ocean Initiative that was recently announced at the World Bank / IMF annual meetings in Bali and contributes to the environmental objectives highlighted in the EU Egypt Partnership priorities.

The Bank signed also a Grant Agreement with the Arab Republic of Egypt and the Medium, Small, and Micro Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) for an amount of €15 million to support the Community Development Program and will finance investments in community infrastructure to improve living standards for disadvantaged and vulnerable persons living in and around urban centres in several Governorates in Egypt.

The new signatures brings the EIB’s total finance in 2018 to €800 million for transport, energy, water and wastewater sectors as well as SMEs and Mid-caps finance and Microfinance.