The Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP) allocated €51m for the development of nine ashwa’yat (informal housing areas) in three Egyptian governorates. The funds are granted by the European Union (EU), the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The programme began its work in Egypt in 2004 to help the Egyptian government, city councils, and civil society to develop a number of ashwa’yat in Greater Cairo. The second phase of the programme is scheduled to end in 2018.
Günther Wehenpohl, coordinator of PDP, said the first phase of PDP ended in 2014 and included several projects in Qaliubiya. In addition, the programme developed a system to manage solid waste in two areas through a recycling waste plant and another factory to collect and sort the garbage.
How much are the total funds granted for PDP in Egypt?
The total funds amounted to €51m, including €40m from the EU and GIZ, and €11m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The projects will be financed either through direct funding from government bodies or NGOs in the projects’ areas.
What are the most recently signed funding contracts?
PDP signed the second direct funding contracts with the European Union for €6.65m in addition to €740,000 from the Egyptian government to support small- and medium-sized infrastructure projects in nine ashwa’yat in Greater Cairo.
The projects are distributed over the areas of Ain Shams, Ezbet El-Nasr, and Matareyya in Cairo; the houses of Dahab Island, Warraq, Bolaq El-Dakrour in Giza; and El-Khosous, Qalyub, Shobra El-Kheima in Qalyubia.
What is the aim of the programme’s projects?
PDP targets improving the living conditions of residents of poor urban areas and executing small- and medium-sized infrastructure projects in cooperation with the three governorates, in addition to another group of social economic projects in cooperation with non-governmental organisations.
Moreover, the direct fund directed to governmental bodies is used in executing infrastructure projects and improving services of drinking water, sanitation, paving roads, managing solid waste, and developing schools, in accordance with the plans set by governorates.
The second aspect of the fund is directed to the non-governmental organisations in the target areas. It includes supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), creating jobs, training young people, and health care, under the supervision of the Ministry of Housing and the officials of the programme.
What is the size of the fund presented by the European Union?
The European Union presented €25m in funding to the second phase of the PDP, half of which is a direct fund to the governorates, while the other half is directed to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and the residents of the ashwa’yat.
Are there specific requirements for granting the fund?
The funding requirements stipulate the participation of the NGOs with 10-20% of the cost of the developmental projects, in addition to the contribution of the Egyptian government in the infrastructure projects according to the contracts of the direct fund.
Is there follow-up to the implementation process of the projects?
The programme Labour Unit will meet with local officials in governorates to determine the immediate needs of each region, set the project details, cost of implementation, and the timetable for funding.
The programme’s follow-up unit conducts field trips every three months to the ashwa’yat. It follows up on the timetable for the implementation of projects in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and local councils in each governorate.
The donors must ensure that funds are spent properly in the presence of permanent accountability on the feasibility of the projects and the extent of benefits to which Egypt receives. This is to ensure the success of the projects in improving the lives of the population on one hand and saving European taxpayers money on the other hand.
The programme will start implementing these projects only after communicating with the residents of those areas and understanding their actual needs. Also, after the involvement of youth, women, and civil society organisations in planning, implementing, and operating these projects so that they become partners in development.
Are you planning to expand during the next phase?
Expansion during the next stages of the programme relies on funds from the European Union and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ). We are waiting for the outcome of negotiations between the government and donors to determine future projects.
Estimates indicate that there are 12 million Egyptian citizens living in ashwa’yat, including 2 million in the nine areas where the programme operates in Cairo and Giza.
These areas lack basic social services and infrastructure, such as adequate health units, schools, and youth centres. Moreover, the high population density led to increased environmental pollution and made waste disposal more difficult.
What parties do you collaborate with?
The programme aims to achieve cooperation between government agencies and civil society organisations to improve services and population environmental conditions to avoid a lack of finances and provide the necessary expertise to develop these areas.
Development is not limited to building and facilities only, but it rather extends to environmental and societal support. We aim to apply models that can be generalised in Egyptian cities and villages through principles of sustainable development and improving the quality of life.
The programme is an Egyptian-German development programme implemented by the Egyptian Ministry of Housing and the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, supported by the EU.
Does the Egyptian government support the projects?
The programme’s projects are receiving political support from both the Egyptian government and economic support from the EU.
Executive management in Egypt will begin the construction process after government agencies and funders sign an agreement.
The current economic situation in Egypt did not affect the implementation phases of the projects due to the external financing and the government’s commitment to provide its share.
As long as there is funding, sustainability of the projects are guaranteed.