Egypt, UN agree to develop eco-friendly industrial zones amid rampant pollution

Egypt, UN agree to develop eco-friendly industrial zones amid rampant pollution
Egypt’s Ministry of Trade and Industry and the UN development agency UNIDO have agreed to develop eco-friendly industrial zones in a country whose capital is rated the second-most polluted city in the world
2 min read
20 January, 2022
Egypt's capital Cairo has been described by the WHO as the world's second most polluted city [Getty]

CAIRO – The Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Trade and the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) signed an agreement on Tuesday allowing for the development of eco-friendly industrial zones in Egypt, local news outlets reported.

The agreement is part of an international programme funded by the Swiss government for developing countries to promote eco-friendly industrial zones.

The deal is expected to help the Egyptian government improve the economic, social, and environmental performance of industrial zones, a statement from the Ministry of Trade and Industry said.

Egyptian Trade and Industry Minister Nevine Gamea said that sustainable industrial zones would attract more local and foreign investment and provide job opportunities while preserving the environment and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Basel Al-Khateeb, chairman of the UNIDO regional office said that the purpose of the agreement was to promote competitiveness, innovation, and sustainability in smart cities and industrial zones.

Cairo was named by the World Health Organisation in 2018 as the world’s second most polluted megacity.

Also in 2018, a report by the Egyptian ministry of environment revealed that half of the factories in Egypt's industrial cities are “air polluting.”

Based on the World Bank, recent studies highlighting the adverse impact of pollution on growth estimated that the annual economic cost of air pollution on health in the Greater Cairo area alone is about 1.4 percent of Egypt’s Gross Domestic Product.

Greater Cairo includes the city of Cairo and the provinces of Giza and Qalyubia.