Egypt: US$120 million loan to increase water productivity
The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a US$120 million loan for an integrated irrigation improvement and management project in Egypt. The project will support the Government of Egypt to achieve more efficient and sustainable use of land and water resources by improving the management of irrigation and drainage for farmers in the Nile Delta supplied by El Mahmoudia and Meet Yazid canals.
Co-financed by the Government of the Netherlands and the German Development Bank, KFW, the seven-year project aims to apply integrated water resource management by empowering water users in decision making at both the investment as well as operation and maintenance levels for irrigation and drainage infrastructure. The project will fund irrigation and drainage renovations and provide water users with technical assistance for improving water productivity and training at the district levels.
Today, nearly 90 percent of Egypt’s 68 million people live on 5 percent of the land area along the Nile Valley and the Delta region. A rapidly growing population is now posing a huge challenge for Egypt to boost the productivity and sustainability of its water use. Today, the average Egyptian has access to 950 cubic meters of fresh water per year - well below the regional average of 1,200 cubic meters - and this figure is set to drop to 650 cubic meters per year by 2017.
The project has set a target of increasing water productivity by 15 percent and increasing farm-related income for the 380,000 families in the project area, at least two-thirds of whom are living on less than $2 a day.