This is the decisive decade for our planet and our future. Egypt is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, including water scarcity, drought, extreme heat, rising sea levels, and food insecurity. That’s why the U.S. Government is committed to working with the Egyptian government and private sector to respond to the climate crisis.
In support of Egypt’s green transformation, USAID is helping Egypt adapt to climate change, mitigate the severity of climate change, and access financing to implement climate solutions. Our work today builds on decades of partnership between Egypt and the United States to protect Egypt’s natural resources. Throughout our climate programming, USAID empowers youth – especially young women – with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to develop and lead climate solutions.
IMPACT & PROGRAMMING
USAID supports farmers in Upper Egypt and the Delta to grow marketable crops for export and address water security challenges. One of the biggest challenges faced by smallholder farmers are the changing temperatures, storms, winds, water availability, and pests brought on by climate change that negatively impact the quality and quantity of crops. Ongoing efforts support climate-smart practices appropriate to smallholder farmers, such as improving soil health, diversifying crops to preserve productivity, and implementing modern irrigation methods that save water. USAID is also studying the impact and implications of climate change on Egypt’s water and food security to help policymakers evaluate policies that support mitigation and adaptation efforts.
Water – a precious resource in Egypt – is becoming increasingly scarce due to climate change. USAID has invested more than $3.5 billion to bring clean water and sanitation services to the homes of over 25 million Egyptians. USAID supports utility companies to build institutional resilience while supporting infrastructure investments. The construction of wastewater treatment plants, for example, ensures the quality of treated wastewater before being reused. USAID also informs water policy; expands and modernizes water sector degree programs at Egyptian universities; and funds innovative research conducted by Egyptian professors to develop solutions for issues like irrigation, industrial water use, desalination, and urban water planning.
To mitigate climate change, USAID is supporting Egypt to rapidly accelerate its energy transition and develop an environment conducive to clean energy investments. USAID partnered with the Government of Egypt and private businesses to develop the New and Renewable Energy Diploma program through which technical school students learn the technical and practical skills needed to work in the lucrative and growing renewable energy industry. In higher education, USAID is also informing energy policy formation, promoting efficient energy use, improving the quality of energy curricula, introducing new courses to undergraduate and graduate fields of study related to energy, and funding innovative applied research solutions to climate-related issues. Beyond education, USAID strengthens commercial relationships in the renewable energy value chain and their micro, small, and medium-sized enterprise suppliers. USAID also supports the creation of renewable energy-focused accelerators and business development services centers, linking them with stakeholders.
Across all levels of the education system, USAID partners with the Government of Egypt and private businesses to empower youth with the skills, knowledge, and opportunities to overcome climate challenges and lead future climate action. Building on the technical school diploma program for renewable energy, USAID supports the Government of Egypt to establish 10 International Applied Technology Schools that will include environmental education in the curricula and link secondary students with green jobs. In community schools in Beni Suef, USAID recently expanded a literacy program that will provide education on environmental conservation for girls and their families. Through USAID’s long-standing STEM programming, students at Egypt’s 19 STEM high schools learn about environmental protection and sustainability and access cutting-edge USAID-funded fabrication laboratories to design projects that address Egypt’s climate challenges. Each year, USAID funds Egypt’s top STEM students to compete in the International Science and Engineering Fair where they demonstrate their innovative science and climate projects to a global audience. To further strengthen learning, USAID established STEM teacher degree programs for undergraduates to study university-level climate change and environmental sustainability courses so that they gain the skills to become effective STEM and climate teachers. USAID provides university scholarships to more than 300 of Egypt’s most talented youth to obtain degrees related to energy, water, and agriculture. Additionally, USAID-funded education programs strengthen Egypt’s scientific and technological capabilities through high-impact scientific research on climate resilience, collaboration between public and private sector institutions, and innovative training for the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.
Policy and Governance
USAID partners with the Government of Egypt to promote inclusive development through effective public institutions, with climate change as an area of particularly deep partnership. To bolster Egypt’s National Climate Change Strategy 2050, USAID is collaborating with the Government of Egypt to draft a plan for successful implementation of the strategy’s climate governance objective. USAID provides support to the Government of Egypt to help guide public investment decisions to double the percentage of green public investments from 2021 to 2022. USAID works with key government counterparts to analyze fiscal risks, explore alternative financing mechanisms that leverage public and private money for climate investments, and develop procedures to integrate climate change mitigation into all public investment projects. This work is complemented by USAID technical assistance programs supporting Egyptian startups and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises – especially those owned by women and youth – and helping them increase their resilience to climate change impacts. USAID partners with the Government of Egypt to empower future climate leaders by enhancing university students’ engagement in climate action through theYouth Model COP and supporting theYouth Climate Change Caravan, which is traveling to each governorate to raise awareness of climate change among young Egyptians. In addition, USAID continues to support Egypt's national voluntary family planning program, which is a priority of the Government of Egypt and promotes individual, household, and community resilience to adapt to environmental shocks and stresses.
USAID’s decades-long partnership with the Government of Egypt has ensured ongoing protection and long-term strategies to preserve the natural environment and helped local residents build resilience to the shocks of climate change. USAID has invested nearly $200 million in environmental education and awareness, conservation of wildlife reserves, eco-friendly tourism, and continuous partnership with the private sector and NGOs. USAID support resulted in the protection of 14 islands, scholarships for underprivileged students to study ecotourism, construction of solid waste and recycling systems, and the establishment of the Wadi El Gemal Protectorate along the Southern Red Sea coast. In addition, USAID works with fishing communities in North Sinai to promote sustainable fishing practices, minimize marine degradation, protect fish stocks, and use waste from fishing activities to fertilize medicinal herbs growing locally. USAID is also establishing water reservoirs to harvest rainwater for irrigation and domestic purposes in North Sinai.