EU-UfM convenes in Cairo to tackle water issues in Mediterranean region

Shaimaa Al-Aees
3 Min Read

The European Union – Union for the Mediterranean (EU-UfM) will hold the second Egypt Water Governance and Business Forum on 19 October, on the sidelines of the third Cairo Water Week which will take place on 18–22 October.

Participants will discuss joint EU-Egypt cooperation in the water sector, and the EU’s continued support to help Egypt overcome the challenges it faces in terms of water scarcity.

Participants will discuss water issues in the Mediterranean region, including the UfM vision and plan for sustainable development, and topics related to sustainable finance for water infrastructure. Possible future partnership opportunities from the European External Investment Plan (EIP), and the European Sustainable Fund for Development (EFSD) within the Mediterranean region, will also be tackled.

The event will serve as a technical follow-up to the UfM Ministerial Conference on Water. It aims to enhance cooperation and coordination with Egypt’s Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, as well as stakeholders working on water, sanitation, and hygiene in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

The EU’s Ambassador to Egypt, Christian Berger, underlined the water sector’s importance to Egypt.

“The EU and its Member States are partners to Egypt in its ambitious agenda for water management, and we work closely with the Egyptian authorities to provide support, technical expertise, and capacity building,” Berger said, “The joint aim is to make full use of the opportunities that water offers.”

He added, “We are committed to continue working with the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation, and other partners, to secure water as a valuable sustainable resource for Egypt, and to support Egypt as a regional hub for the transfer of knowledge on water management.”

Berger said that from the perspective of a circular economy, aspects such as demographic change, urbanisation, climate change, and digitalisation are all tightly interconnected with water. All these aspects offer both challenges and more so opportunities.

“For the EU, one of the first steps in its post-2020 Agenda will be to ensure that the priorities and association agendas with each of our partners retain ambitious, while realistic, and shared objectives for reform and economic development, particularly in a resource-intensive and high-impact sector such as water management.”

UfM Secretary-General Nasser Kamel said, “The UfM Secretariat, together with its partners, remains committed to ‎step up regional cooperation and efforts in view of implementing the sustainability of the Mediterranean ‎water sector, as well as strengthening the ‎resilience of our societies‎ in a collective ‎multi-stakeholder ‎approach.”

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