5th Edition of Cairo Water Week

Speech Delivered By Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt

October 18, 2022


As prepared for delivery.

Her Excellency Dr Jasmine Fouad Minister of Environment of Egypt

UNFCCC Colleagues

Dear excellencies, dear Guests,

Dear partners, colleagues and friends,

  • It is a pleasure to welcome you all to Cairo  today on behalf of the UN Development Programme.
  • We are weeks from the UN Climate Conference, and this workshop is critical for setting the stage.
  • As the UN Secretary General stated two weeks ago in New York, ‘the work ahead is as immense as the climate impacts we are seeing around the world’.
  • Adaptation is a priority.
  • Over the past two decades, UNDP has been supporting developing countries to implement their adaptation priorities – from enhancing food security, to establishing early warning systems.
  • We have been building on the experiences and lessons learnt from our portfolio of over US$1.6 billion of adaptation projects and programmes across 95 countries, and we remain very much committed to continue to support countries in implementing their adaptation priorities.
  • Together with our national and international partners, we expect to reach approximately 126 million people and help protect 1.4 million hectares of land and over 14,000 km of coastline – which is the equivalent of the distance from New York to New Delhi and back. 
  • In Egypt, our GCF financed project is helping to protect 17 million people from coastal flooding, with the installation of a 69km low-cost dikes system across the Nile Delta shores.
  • But a lot more needs to be done, and action has never been more urgent.
  • The latest report by the IPCC Working Group notes that climate change could drive an additional 122 million people into poverty by 2030.
  • Stepping up climate finance for adaptation will be key for vulnerable countries to protect their communities and infrastructure.
  • The international community was successful in mobilizing large investments in climate change mitigation technologies, for use in energy efficiency and renewable (this was the first hotel to install roof top PV systems in Egypt as part of a UNDP/GEF PV programme which now includes over 140 private and public sector buildings with installed solar plants including the hotels in Sharm El-Sheick) while also attracting private sector and financial institutions’ investments.
  • However, many developing countries, particularly those in Africa, are left behind when it comes to funding for adaptation actions.
  • A balance is needed.
  • More investments in adaptation technologies such as sustainable agriculture and water reclamation or desalination technologies could be a real game-changer for sustaining food security in many parts of the world.
  • I am glad to see that we have representatives from many groups today – the Africa group, AOSIS, Arab group, LDC group and the Umbrella group.
  • I would like to use this opportunity to thank you for all the impressive work done so far.
  • Your collective leadership is critical for a successful COP27.
  • I wish you very productive discussions.
  • Thank you