MOROCCO/ SENEGAL – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), a multilateral development finance institution, has secured a €117million (146.8m) guarantee grant from the United Kingdom to support the development of a wastewater project in Egypt and a water sanitation project in Senegal.

The new investment in water supply and sanitation in the two countries falls under the UK’s Room 2 Run guarantee program.

The Room to Run Guarantee first announced at COP-26, is a US$2 billion guarantee provided to the African Development Bank by the UK with US$1.6 billion in cover, and with the City of London insurers covering US$400 million.

According to Andrew Mitchell, UK Minister of State for Development and Africa, the Room to Roam Guarantee enables the AfDB to provide an additional US$2 billion of climate finance to Africa by 2027, with a 50-50 split between adaptation and mitigation.

In Egypt, the Water Recycling for Agriculture – Gabel El Asfar Wastewater Treatment Project is the largest in Africa wastewater treatment plant in terms of capacity and the second largest in the world. It produces up to 60% of the electricity it needs for running the plant.

This 3rd phase of the Al-Gabal Al-Asfar Wastewater Treatment Plant project for €80 m aims to increase arable lands by 70,000 acres addressing food security issues and increasing access to safely managed sanitation services.

The project provides its services to about 12 million people in the first and second phases, and the third phase provides services to about 5.5 million people, which reflects the commitment to achieving water security and enhancing climate resilience.

Rania Al-Mashat, Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, described the Gabel El Asfar Wastewater Treatment Project as a very special one for Egypt and stressed the importance of partnerships in crowding in new resources for development projects in Africa.

“Creating headroom for multilateral development banks (MDBs) to extend financing to emerging economies for climate action is a key objective of MDB reforms. We commend the UK government for their initiative: the Room 2 Run Sovereign Guarantee, supporting the African Development Bank Group with US$2 billion to help the continent accelerate climate action and meet the Nationally Determined Contributions,” Al Mashat said.

“The third stage of the project will expand to serve 5.5 million more people, emphasizing that water security is at the core of building resilience. This is an example to be followed by other governments.”

Meanwhile, in Senegal, AfDB will invest €37m in the Access to Safe Water and Sanitation Services to build Sustainable Resilience in Disadvantaged Areas will reach 1.45 million people, out of which 51% are women who will benefit from improved access to drinking water and sanitation.

African Development Bank Senior Vice President Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala pointed out that rising water and decreasing rainfall are among the climate change impacts threatening Senegal’s development goals. 

“Today’s announcement is significant. We are looking forward to seeing how this risk financing helps these first projects reach measurable outcomes and impact the communities we serve,” she said.

Senegal’s Minister of Economy, Planning, and Cooperation, Oulimata Sarr said the country’s project comes under Senegal’s Access to “Water for All” pillar of its development plan and welcomed any funding that would enable them to scale up and fast track climate finance.

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