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EU and UfM hold Mediterranean water investment forum during third annual Cairo Water Week

The European Union (EU) and Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) held on Monday the second Egypt Water Governance and Business Forum.

The six-hour forum took place in accordance with Egypt’s third annual Cairo Water Week, which is being held this year from October 18-22.

The forum includes Egyptian government officials, private sector representatives, regional organizations, and international development partners. All parties will discuss several issues revolving around EU-Egypt cooperation in the water sector, as well as EU efforts to help Egypt overcome water scarcity.

Speeches from Egypt’s Minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Mohamed Abdel Atty, the EU’s Ambassador to Egypt, Christian Berger, and the Secretary-General of the UfM, Ambassador Nasser Kamel, were scheduled to inaugurate the forum.

Participants are slated to discuss current Mediterranean water issues, including climate change, sustainable development and finance in water infrastructure, and possible future partnerships within the Mediterranean region from the European External Investment Plan (EIP) and the European Sustainable Fund for Development (EFSD).

The forum is also intended to increase cooperation and coordination between Egypt’s Water and Irrigation Ministry and stakeholders with projects relating to water, sanitation, and hygiene in the region.

Ambassador Berger stressed the importance of Egypt’s water sector, pointing out that water management is interconnected with several other emerging economic changes, such as urbanization, digitalization, and demographic change.

The ambassador reiterated the EU’s continued partnership with the country to implement its ambitious water management plan, stating “The joint aim is to make full use of the opportunities that water offers.”

The partnership has expressed its desire to make Egypt a “regional hub” of water management knowledge.

Ambassador Kamel recognized the difficulty of water resource management in the Mediterranean, noting that climate change impacts and the coronavirus campaign have further exacerbated existing issues.

He declared that improving water efficiency capabilities and increasing the availability of water in the region has become an emergency priority for the UfM.

Kamel underlined the union’s commitment to water resource management in the region, calling it a “collective, multi-stakeholder approach” to strengthen all societies involved.

Cairo Water Week’s theme this year is “Water Security in Arid Regions”. The five-day event offers many different online and in-person forums, conferences, and lectures. The full schedule of events can be accessed here.

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