Florika Fink-Hooijer, the Director General of the Environment Department of the European Commission, has said that Egypt can serve as a hub for water knowledge in the whole region.
Cairo has the ambition and capability to do this role, Fink-Hooijer said in statements to MENA on Monday. Water has become such a challenging file for countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe, she added.
The European official lauded Egypt’s efforts to solve the water crisis, noting that the EU offered some 550 million euros worth of grants to finance water projects in the Arab countries over the past decades.
The pan-European body also secured soft loans that exceeded 3 billion euros allocated for the water sector in Egypt, Fink-Hooijer said.
She made it clear that EU co-operation with Egypt in the field of water is an advanced priority. Water is a unified and common interest for both sides, Fink-Hooijer noted.
The European official is in Egypt to attend the 6th edition of the Cairo Water Week (CWW). The EU is a partner in the organisation of this event, Fink-Hooijer said, adding that water constitutes a challenge for all, whether in Africa, the Middle East or Europe.
She said her talks with Irrigation Minister Hany Suweilam during her visit to Egypt will focus on means of boosting bilateral co-operation, particularly where the water file is concerned.
Hopefully, such cooperation would be translated into a joint declaration to be issued after the success of the current talks, Fink-Hooijer added.