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Monday, 25 October 2021

Egypt could get EUR 1 bn for development from EU by 2027

Egypt could receive up to EUR 1 bn from the EU over the next six years to help drive “long-term socio-economic development and recovery,” EU Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi said yesterday at Cairo Water Week, according to prepared remarks (pdf). The plan, which comes as part of the EU’s wider EUR 7 bn deployment of funds to the southern Mediterranean, sets water security as one of its top priorities. The EU will work with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to “support Egypt’s efforts to combat climate change, protect the environment and ensure sustainable food systems,” according to a press release (pdf).

The EU is one of the largest providers of development finance to Egypt, Varhelyi noted. Over the past 14 years, the EU and European financial institutions have contributed a total of EUR 3 bn to water projects in Egypt, with the EU alone contributing EUR 550 mn in grants. These funds have gone largely towards labor-intensive infrastructure projects to create jobs and contribute to poverty reduction.

Varhelyi also talked cooperation with El Sisi + Shoukry: The EU-Egypt Partnership Priorities for 2021-2027, cooperation against extremism and terrorism, and covid-19 vaccination efforts were among the topics Varhelyi discussed in a sit-down with President Abdel Fattah El Sisi yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met separately with the commissioner to talk strategic cooperation, with the minister highlighting the need for the EU’s support in tackling Egypt’s widening trade balance deficit, and encouraging European investors to tap into Egypt’s “unique investment climate.” Health Minister Hala Zayed also met with Varhelyi to discuss vaccine manufacturing in Egypt.

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