World Bank approves $550mln Program to improve Egypt’s Sanitation Services

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The World Bank’s Board of Directors approved a program worth US$550 million to improve sanitation services for more than 800,000 poor Egyptians in rural areas , the bank announced in a press release on Tuesday.

The Sustainable Rural Sanitation Services Program for Results aims at empowering local service delivery and connecting rural poor to working sanitation systems in the Delta governorates of Daqahliya, Sharqiya, and Beheira in Lower Egypt.

It focuses on enhancing access to sanitation services for the rural poor and addressing the pollution of the Nile from untreated sewage.

Under the Program, responsibility and accountability will be decentralized to governorate level sanitation utilities. Transparent and predictable fiscal transfers will be introduced and will be linked to service performance. Systems will be put in place to ensure bottom-up accountability utilizing citizens report cards, grievance mechanisms and audit reforms.

On other side, World Bank Country Director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti Asad Alam said “One of our strategic areas for supporting Egypt is improving service delivery especially for the poor,” adding that “The program will improve the well-being of rural Egyptians who suffer from poor access to sanitation services and face serious environmental and health threats.”

Furthermore, “The Program is supporting the Egyptian government’s efforts to increase access to rural sanitation by shifting to a decentralized model that empowers the governorate level water and sanitation companies and makes them accountable to their citizens and stakeholders,” said Gustavo Saltiel, World Bank program team leader.

Moreover, the current portfolio of the World Bank in Egypt includes 26 projects for a total commitment of US$5.92 billion. The World Bank finances projects for faster delivery of benefits to the people of Egypt in key sectors including energy, transport, water and sanitation, agriculture and irrigation, housing, social protection, as well as health and education.