Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, and Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, discussed with the World Bank Group “national consultations” on the general framework for climate action and the preparation of the climate and development report for Egypt, with the participation of the Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, Mr. El Kassir, and Ayat Soliman, Director Regional Director of Sustainable Development for the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank Group, and Marina Weiss, Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti at the World Bank.
Representatives of many ministries and relevant authorities, including trade, industry, transport, petroleum, mineral wealth, irrigation, local development, planning, economic development, agriculture, housing, health, electricity, the Agricultural Research Center, the Natural Gas Holding Company, and other national bodies participated in the meeting.
Dr. Yasmine Fouad, Minister of Environment, welcomed the World Bank mission in Egypt, the Bank’s Regional Director for Sustainable Development, the World Bank’s Director in Cairo, and representatives of the relevant ministries.
The Minister of Environment confirmed that Egypt has taken several serious steps in the field of addressing climate change, including the reformation of the National Council for Climate Change to become headed by Dr. The national plan for climate change, in its two parts, mitigation and adaptation, in addition to starting the preparation of the national plan for adaptation, with the participation of all ministries and with the support of the Green Climate Fund, with the aim of determining how to formulate this plan to attract investments that help the state to enter the private sector in the adaptation sector.
The Minister of Environment added that formulating a framework for action with the World Bank to support Egypt in this issue requires defining national priorities in addressing climate change and the gaps in linking climate change with the economy, as the impact of climate change on economic sectors must be determined and linked to the measures that the state must take, whether on the The level of policies or the determination of funding for specific projects.
Dr. Yasmine Fouad stressed the need to hear the multiple opinions of the different ministries on the issue through the technical working group representing the ministries and concerned authorities to formulate a framework for preparing the World Bank report to come up with a national document that supports the Egyptian government’s vision more clearly and specifically.
Fouad indicated that members of the technical working group in the National Council are working to unify and harmonize the visions of the ministries, and work will be done with the Bank through the Ministry of International Cooperation so that this study will cover all sectors, whether mitigation or adaptation.
The Minister of Environment explained that this study will work on examining the effects of climate change on the economy and the specific sector, after conducting scientific analyzes, in order to determine the needs of the Bank, put the actual cost and transfer it to actual projects. Therefore, the agricultural sector is one of the priority sectors because it did not take its share like the energy sector.
For her part, Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, confirmed that the World Bank Group is one of the strategic development partners of the Arab Republic of Egypt, noting that the current consultations involving the relevant ministries and relevant parties aim to identify government priorities with regard to preparing the climate and development report for Egypt. Which aims to identify the national mechanisms for assessing the effects of climate change on the macro economy and monitoring the steps taken to adapt to it, so that the country can evaluate and follow up on these efforts in cooperation with the World Bank.
The Minister of International Cooperation explained that consultation between all parties is necessary to prepare such reports, especially since climate changes cast a shadow on various development sectors, especially agriculture, which is the least contributor to emissions and most affected by climate change, noting that a national committee will be formed in which all ministries will be represented. and the concerned authorities to continue discussing sectoral priorities to focus on them in the report that is being prepared.
Al-Mashat praised the successful partnership between Egypt and the World Bank Group, which supports national efforts to achieve development in many areas, including transport, housing, utilities, environment, health and others, as the value of the development financing agreements signed with the World Bank in 2020 is about 1.5 billion. dollars for many sectors, pointing to the Ministry of International Cooperation’s endeavor to strengthen economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners, in a way that supports the implementation of Egypt’s 2030 development vision, and accelerates the implementation of the 2030 sustainable development goals.
Al-Qaseer, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said that the agricultural sector is the most affected by climate change and its harmful effects, pointing to the need to determine the size of the challenges facing each sector of the state and the expected effects of climate change before the process of setting priorities to be worked on.
He explained that all components of the agricultural sector, including soil, water and climate, are closely linked to climate changes, so agriculture is severely affected, pointing out that the state has already begun to take serious steps to confront these changes, and it is necessary that the international community and international institutions work to provide support to all countries. In this regard, especially since the countries most affected are the least contributing to harmful emissions.
Al-Qusayr added that climatic changes lead to a change in agricultural seasons and affect the rate of crop productivity and the spread of pests and plant diseases, which may contribute to increasing production costs as well as the impact of climate changes on soil salinity and increase evaporation rates, and thus increase the quantities used of water and change crop structures. He explained that the Egyptian state attaches great importance to the issue of climate change and has since begun to set its priorities, including focusing on improving value chains and reducing losses and waste of crops by establishing silos and cold stores, and paying attention to agricultural industrialization and digital transformation.
For her part, Ayat Suleiman, Regional Director of the Department of Sustainable Development in the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank Group, expressed her happiness to launch these consultations with the participation of all ministries and concerned parties, in a way that enhances the process of collecting data required for the issuance of the report, stressing the importance of the process of consultation and discussion with various sectors to identify the The effects, data and opportunities offered by climate change in all development axes at the level of increasing climate investments.
Soliman pointed out that climate change represents a threat to all countries of the world, so we seek to prepare clear plans to combat it, provided that all relevant parties participate in these plans, to support Egypt’s plan for sustainable development, including combating climate change.
Marina Weiss, Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti at the World Bank, thanked the Egyptian government for its joint work in the context of confronting climate change, noting that the World Bank seeks to support national efforts at the level of climate action in light of the importance that this represents to support development efforts, so that they become Egypt is a role model in the region.
It is worth noting that the ongoing development cooperation portfolio with the World Bank includes 17 projects in various sectors, including education, health, transportation, social solidarity, petroleum, housing, sanitation, local development and the environment, with a value of $5.8 billion.