IFAD to lead the food pillar of Egypt’s Nexus for Water, Food and Energy (NWFE)

Dec 5, 2022News

Sharm El Sheikh, 10 November, 2022 – The Government of Egypt has selected the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to lead a multi-billion dollar food and agriculture pillar.  NWFE is part of Egypt’s bold move to launch its first National Climate Change Strategy 2050.

In the build-up to COP27, the Government has launched the “Nexus of Water, Food and Energy (NWFE)”, an innovative and ambitious programme, comprising 9 projects with a total cost of US$14.7 billion. It is a transformational strategy that moves from a narrow sectoral approach to a more focused and structured model of linkages between sectors.

The NWFE programme, which was officially launched on November 8 at the Egypt pavilion at COP27, has three main pillars:  water, food, and energy. The Government of Egypt has called on development partners to channel their investments under a Water-Food-Energy nexus and has chosen three lead agencies: the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the Water pillar, IFAD for Food and Agriculture, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for Energy.

The food pillar includes 5 projects with a combined total of US$ 3.35 billion for phase 1 (2023-2030).

“This is a strong signal of trust and recognition of IFAD’s leadership in the sector,” said Dina Saleh, IFAD Regional Director for Near East North Africa, Europe and Central Asia. “This also reflects IFAD’s long-standing partnership with the Government of Egypt not just as a key development partner but also as an assembler of finance bringing together partners and as the main financier for the agriculture sector.”

IFAD is expected to lead the coordination of developing Egypt’s strategic vision for the agricultural sector, and support the government in the mobilization of financial and technical resources for the five projects under the food pillar.

“Egypt’s Country Platform for the NWFE نُوَفِّـي Platform, the Arabic translation of the phrase ‘Fulfilling Pledges’, was developed on the back of the announcement of 2050 Country Climate Strategy, and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).” Said H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation. “Leveraging on Egypt’s partnerships with multiple stakeholders, the country has been leading efforts to mobilize finance, avail technical assistance, and catalyze private investment, through innovative financing modalities including blended finance, for NWFE- نُوَفِّـي projects. This provides opportunities for mobilizing climate finance and private investments to support Egypt’s green transition, reflecting the interlinkages and complementarity between climate action and development efforts. This is realized through the design, structuring and preparation of concrete and implementable climate action projects.”

To date, IFAD has managed to leverage approximately US$2 billion for the food pillar of NWFE with a coalition of partners including Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, French Development Agency European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, EU, International Finance Corporation and World Bank. The indicative pledges exceed more than 50% of the estimated budget for the total food pillars.

“This programme will change the lives of many smallholder farmers and transform the agricultural sector itself. This COP is about action, about adaptation,” said Alvaro Lario, the President of IFAD. “Millions of smallholders are suffering the impacts of the shocks we are seeing. This programme gives them hope and shows how we can bring together action for climate, food, food systems and food security.”

During the signing ceremony, His Excellency Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly thanked IFAD and other development partners. “It is a great honor to be among this generous crowd, which includes government representatives, financing institutions and development partners. We are gathered in one place and for one goal, to celebrate together the signing of many projects that will contribute to achieving our commitments,” His Excellency said.  “Our commitments towards climate action this year in COP27 come under the theme “Together for Action”.  All developing countries view this summit as a true test of credibility in implementing our commitments to climate action that have already been made and repeated over the past five years.”

IFAD has been working in Egypt for more than 40 years. It has financed 14 projects with a total cost of US$ 1.1 billion (about 50% of which represents IFAD funding), making it the main financer of the agriculture sector in Egypt according to Ministry of International Cooperation (MoIC) reports.

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