- The Union for Mediterranean joins forces with the European Union, the Arab League, GWP-Med and other partners to discuss water investment in the Mediterranean region.
- Out of 1 trillion US$ are needed to achieve SDGs, between 15%- 30% are needed for water related investments. Thus, the UfM promotes innovative approaches to enforce policies to achieve sustainable financing.
- Investing in the water sector is the shortcut to boost economic growth and achieve stability in the region: water is an element of dialogue and cooperation in the region that face acute water shortages.
Cairo, 21 October 2019. The EU-UfM Business & Governance Forum brought together in Cairo over 120 high-level actors involved in the water and financing sectors at national and regional level to discuss EU, Mediterranean and Egyptian water issues including the UfM vision, plan and action towards sustainable development and sustainable water finance, with emphasis on the European Investment Plan (EIP) and the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD). The Forum was identified as a flagship event during the 2nd Cairo Water Week (20-24 of October 2019) and was organised by the Union for the Mediterranean and by the EU Delegation in Egypt, in partnership with the League of Arab States, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Global Water Partnership-Mediterranean (GWP-Med).
The Forum highlighted the link between water security and economic growth, making the quest for water security a collective goal that needs to involve as many and diverse actors as possible. In this process, development partners have a crucial role to play and the EU-UfM Water Governance & Business Forum declared its goal to assist with the development of a roadmap for regional action, guiding the financing and investment in the water sector.
The Forum served as a platform for discussion among governments (Ministry for Energy and Water Management/Republic of Malta, Ministry of Water/State of Palestine, Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation/Arab Republic of Egypt), development partners (EBRD, EIB, AfD, IsDB, World Bank, KfW, OECD), private sector (SEURECA – Veolia, HCWW), regional organisations (CEDARE, RAED, IME) and utilities (HCWW).
The event was inaugurated by UfM Secretary General Nasser Kamel, together with the Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt, Ivan Surkos, the Minister of Water and Energy of Malta, Joe Mizzi, Minister Mazen Ghunain, Head of Palestinian Water Authority, Djamal Jaballah, Minister in charge of Sustainable Development of the Arab League, and the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Rajab Abdel Azzim.
This event was an intermediary step towards launching the Mediterranean Water Business Forum, which will be organized on 5th of December 2019 during the Med Dialogues in Rome. During the EU-UfM Water Governance & Business Forum many international organizations and donor community showed commitments to its objectives in order to boost sustainable financing in the Mediterranean water sector.