Sisi approves AIIB $300 million loan for sustainable rural sanitation

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Thursday approved a $300 million loan from the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) to help finance infrastructure projects in the country.

Signed in December 2018, the loan will go towards improving rural sanitation services under the Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services Programme (SRSSP).

The objective of the SRSSP is to strengthen institutions and policies to increase access and improve rural sanitation services in the rural areas of the Nile Delta. This will be accomplished through implementing key sector and institutional reforms together with rehabilitation and construction of integrated infrastructure for collection, treatment, and disposal of household sewage.

The SRSSP comprises a physical infrastructure component, which will provide sanitation services to about 175,000 households in 133 villages of five governorates; Dakahliya, Sharkiya, Damietta, Menoufya, and Gharbiya.

The works include: construction of new or expansion/rehabilitation of existing wastewater treatment plants; construction and upgrading of pumping stations; and construction of integrated sewerage networks consisting of collectors and pumping mains.

The SRSSP will also ensure that inhabitants of satellites located between the villages where the main sewers pass are also serviced. This will help to maximise the programme’s development impacts. The programme also comprises a component to strengthen the related institutions and policies for the water and sanitation sector, by:

  • improving the governorate-level Water and Sanitation Companies’ operational systems and
  • strengthening the national water and sanitation sector framework, including the sector’s institutions, policy, and monitoring and evaluation framework;
  • introducing an Investment Project Financing (IPF) component for Technical Assistance on strategic sector issues (which would be subject to the World Bank’s policies applicable to IPF rather than those applicable to PforR.

The World Bank would support both physical infrastructure and institutional and policy strengthening components. The AIIB would only support the physical infrastructure component.