On Thursday, the 1st of October 2015, a meeting between the Participatory Development Programme in Urban Areas (PDP), His Excellency, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development (MoHUUD), and representatives of the Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF) was held in order to discuss PDP’s affiliation to the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development.
Dr. Günther Wehenpohl, Programme Coordinator of the PDP, made the opening remarks. He introduced the PDP as an Egyptian-German development measure implemented in cooperation between the former Egyptian Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements (MURIS) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. He then pointed out that the programme is currently in its third phase ending in December 2018 and is co-financed by the European Union (EU), in addition to the core-financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the contributions by the Egyptian Government. This was followed by a presentation on PDP’s activities by Mrs. Sundus Balata, Deputy Programme Coordinator of the PDP. The presentation underlined the overall objective of the programme, which is to support public administration and civil society organisations in collaborating for the improvement of services and environmental conditions for the poor urban population.
Subsequently, H.E. Dr. Madbouly expressed his appreciation for the work of PDP and confirmed that the MoHUUD will be the political partner of the PDP. H.E. then highlighted the importance of upgrading unsafe areas as one of the priorities of his ministry. H.E. further emphasized the importance of rapidly achieving concrete improvements in informal areas and was pleased to learn about the PDP’s EU-funded grant scheme on service provision and the Direct Awards that focus of basic infrastructure through Direct Awards to the Governorates of Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya amounting to €13.3 million.
Dr. Madbouly stated that he appreciated PDP’s support in developing a national strategy for the upgrading of informal areas and that this would be done under his leadership and in cooperation with all concerned ministries. This strategy will be linked with the 2030 sustainable development strategy in Egypt prepared by the Ministry of Planning. In addition, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is currently drawing up a plan for the complete upgrading of all unsafe areas within the next three 3 years. Dr. Madbouly invited the PDP to consider supporting the Ministry’s efforts in improving unsafe urban areas, in addition to its socio-economic upgrading measures in the informal areas in Cairo, Giza and Qalyubeya.
In their final remarks, H.E. Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, the PDP representatives and the representatives from the ISDF affirmed that their common goal is to improve the living conditions in informal areas and that an integrated approach to urban upgrading will be the most adequate response to the challenge of dealing with Egypt’s informal areas.