Gathered yesterday in Cairo on the occasion of the 2nd Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) Ministerial Conference on Sustainable Urban Development, the Ministers in charge of housing, municipal affairs and urban development from the 43 UfM Member States agreed on a UfM Urban Agenda to step-up regional cooperation on sustainable urban development, with a view to delivering common responses to the pressing challenges facing urban areas, which are key drivers for stability and prosperity in the Mediterranean region.
At the Ministerial Conference, Ministers endorsed the final Declaration and adopted a comprehensive and operational UfM Urban Agenda for the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The UfM Urban Agenda represents an action-oriented roadmap for the future. It is aimed at addressing the multi-faceted challenges of the region, both at local and regional levels, through an integrated and holistic approach, as well as at ensuring urban sustainability and resilience with a greater socio-economic impact on the ground, thus improving the quality of life of the peoples of the Mediterranean region.
UfM Ministers agreed to set a structured framework for UfM cooperation efforts in the years to come, through the creation of the UfM Regional Platform on Sustainable Urban Development, its thematic platforms and working groups, as well as through the organisation of the UfM-IFIs (International Financial Institutions) Urban Development Project Committee Meetings. This will result in enhanced policy dialogue among UfM Member States, financial institutions, regional organisations and stakeholders from both the public and private sectors, and will translate it into concrete projects and initiatives.
The Conference concluded with the launch of the UfM labelled project “Imbaba Urban Upgrading”, which amounts to €100 million, for the urban regeneration of one of Greater Cairo’s most populated areas, through the improvement of the living conditions of its 2 million inhabitants within the Giza Governorate.
This launch also confirms of the good preparatory work done by the Urban Projects Finance Initiative (UPFI). Since 2014 UPFI operates under the umbrella of the UfM Secretariat and is managed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the financial support of the EU. UPFI currently supports five UfM labelled urban projects of regional importance, including the “Imbaba Urban Upgrading”, helping them to access financing.