Egypt secures US$9.13M grant from GEF to manage electronic and hospital waste in Cairo

EGYPT – Egypt’s Minister of Environment, Yasmine Fouad, announced a US$9.13 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to scale up the Greater Cairo Air Pollution and Climate Change Management Project.

In a statement, Fouad stated that the grant will contribute to the advancement of the healthcare sectors and digital transformation as one of Egypt’s main priorities, and support development efforts that consider the health of citizens and achieve sustainable livelihoods.

It will also increase the current interventions of the Egyptian government to support the transition towards systems to improve electronic and health waste management by focusing on the regulatory framework.

The minister highlighted the importance of this grant at a time when the need for health and electronic waste management is increasing, with the expansion of healthcare systems, the national expansion of information and communication technology in the country and digital transformation efforts.

She explained that these efforts require improving the current safe treatment and disposal practices for healthcare and electronic waste in order to reduce the further release of unintended persistent organic pollutants, which can lead to serious health effects and negatively affect environmental quality when released into the air, water or soil.

The Greater Cairo Air Pollution and Climate Change Management Project was approved in 2021, to support Egypt’s efforts to reduce pollution in Greater Cairo.

The project focuses on reducing vehicle emissions, improving solid waste management, and strengthening the air and climate-related decision-making system.

The expansion of the project aims to support the National Action Plan for Persistent Organic Pollutants, with a focus on strengthening the regulatory framework, data collection, management and monitoring, raising awareness, the capacity for safe handling, and the capacity of the sector to manage special types of waste and recycling.

Meanwhile, Egypt produces almost 90,000 tonnes of e-waste a year, 58 percent of which comes from the private sector, 23 percent from households, and 19 percent from the public sector, as reported by Enterprise.

A bulk of that figure comes from the ICT and telecoms industry, producing 66-73 tonnes, while other sectors comprise the remainder, notes Tarek El Araby, head of the Waste Management Regulatory Authority.

The North African country is making the right steps into fighting the waste problem but still needs more support in eradicating the plastic pollution problem.

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