Egypt in talks with World Bank over solid waste management loan

Egypt is negotiating with the World Bank for a $500 million loan for pollution control and solid waste management projects, a Ministry of Investment statement said on Wednesday.

Egypt has been implementing a series of measures to create good waste management systems, where products are designed and optimised for reuse and recycling.

Last year, the Ministry of Environment announced a plan to reduce air pollution rate by 50 percent in 2023.  The ministry set rules to some of the factories that contribute to increasing pollution rates, including those working in cement and fertilisers industries. It also revealed plans to build more air quality monitoring stations.

As part of the strategy, the North African country is working on reducing the cars’ exhaust through replacing old cars with electric ones.

According to a recent report by the World Bank, waste generation rates are rising around the world. In 2016, the worlds’ cities generated 2.01 billion tonnes of solid waste, amounting to a footprint of 0.74 kilograms per person per day. With rapid population growth and urbanization, annual waste generation is expected to increase by 70 percent from 2016 levels to 3.40 billion tonnes in 2050, the World Bank report showed.

Managing waste properly is essential for building sustainable and livable cities. However, adopting effective waste management is expensive, often comprising 20–50 percent of municipal budgets. Operating this essential municipal service requires integrated systems that are efficient, sustainable, and socially supported.

The World Bank finances and advises on solid waste management projects through providing traditional loans, results-based financing, development policy financing, and technical advisory. Its waste management engagement spans multiple development areas, including energy, environmental sustainability, food and agriculture, health and population, social protection, transportation, urban development, and water.

Since 2000, the World Bank has committed over $4.7 billion to more than 340 solid waste management programmes in all six regions of World Bank engagement.