EBRD, EU and GCF support Egypt’s transition to a greener and more inclusive economy

By Nibal Zgheib

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  • EBRD, EU and GCF launch new credit line under the Green Economy Financing Facility in Egypt
  • Commercial banks to on-lend to private sector for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Investments to cover sustainable land management, circular economy and resource efficiency

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) are providing new funds under the Green Economy Financing Facility programme (GEFF) in Egypt to support green programmes and investments for the private sector.

A total of US$ 175.5 million will be made available to local financial institutions to on-lend to the private sector for investments in climate change mitigation and adaptation projects, supporting decarbonisation and competitiveness of the Egyptian economy.

Egypt is among the largest energy producers and suppliers in Africa. It is also one of the most populated countries in the region with more than 100 million inhabitants. Demand for water and energy is growing due to climate change and rapid population growth.

The new GEFF programme is addressing these challenges by encouraging micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to invest in green and innovative technologies that promote the efficient use of water, sustainable land management, the circular economy and resource efficiency. The programme also offers an integrated technical assistance package and financial incentives from the EU and concessional co-financing from the GCF.

At the event, the EBRD presented strategies for supporting Egypt’s green transition and discussed the opportunities and challenges of building climate resilience in the financial sector through Paris alignment.

EBRD representatives, along with representatives from local partner banks, discussed their partnership under the GEFF and the Green Value Chain (GVC) Egypt programmes, and their role in greening value chains by facilitating business investments in green technology.

The event was attended by the Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat; the Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad; Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Delegation to Egypt and Central Bank of Egypt Head of Sustainability, Walid Ali.

Representatives from the EBRD included the Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region, Heike Harmgart; the Managing Director for Financial Institutions, Francis Malige; Director for Green Financial Systems, Maya Hennerkes; and the Director for the EBRD’s office in Egypt, Khalid Hamza.

 “To accelerate progress towards the green transition, international cooperation is key. The ongoing collaboration between the EBRD, the EU and the GCF, has been particularly impactful through the Green Economy Financing Facility Egypt II. The GEFF Egypt works to increase private sector engagement in green-based climate projects, addressing financial tools that help companies, including MSMEs unlock investments in green and innovative technology,” said Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat.

“Egypt pursues an ambitious strategy to fight the effects of climate change.  Like in Europe this can help building economic resilience and strengthening competitiveness on the path to a low-emission economy.  Phase II of the Green Energy Financing Facility is a model that illustrates the support the EU and its financial institutions can provide to encourage and stimulate green economy investment”, said Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt.

Heike Harmgart said: “We are very proud to strengthen our green investments in Egypt through the GEFF and GVC programmes, along with the help of our strong partnership with the EU and GCF. These unique programmes have proven their success in the country throughout the years and we hope to continue to build a greener and more resilient and inclusive economy with the valuable support of our partner financial institutions.”

The EBRD, through its Green Facilities programme in Egypt, has invested €240 million to support resource efficiency, climate adaption and the circular economy.

Since it started investing in Egypt in 2012, the EBRD has provided more than €10 billion in financing through 160 projects across the country, including financial support for the banking sector in the form of MSME loans, subordinated debt and trade finance facilities.

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