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Global Gateway: €79 Million European Investment Bank Support for Water Desalination and Wastewater Treatment in Djibouti

  • Solar powered desalination scheme to transform water security for 550,000 people
  • Largest ever EIB engagement in Djibouti signed during working visit to Luxembourg
Djibouti Finance Minister Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh (left) and Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank (right) shake hands after the signing the agreement, Luxemburg

Press Release
European Investment Bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB), the world’s largest international public bank, has agreed to provide EUR 79 million, 25-year financing to support water desalination, access to clean drinking water and wastewater treatment in Djibouti.

The EIB’s first-ever support for water investment in 44 years of operations in the Eastern African country will transform water access in the national capital, enhance resilience to climate change,  is expected to secure access to clean water for more than 555,000 people and enable solar power renewable energy to produce clean drinking water as part of Global Gateway

The EIB’s first investment in Djibouti through its new development finance arm EIB Global will double freshwater production capacity at the Doraleh Desalination Plant and expand three wastewater treatment plants at Doraleh, Balbala and Douda.  The long-term EIB loan to the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Republic of Djibouti, is guaranteed by the European Union’s Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI), and will be used alongside grant financing from the European Union, the French Development Agency (AFD) and support from the Djibouti government.

The EIB largest ever financing for investment in Djibouti was signed during a working visit to the Luxembourg headquarters of the European Investment Bank by Finance Minister Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh and Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, in the presence of Youssouf Aouled Faraf, Director of the Prime Minister’s Office and Chairman of  the national water agency, ONEAD, and H.E. Aden Mohamed Dileita,, Ambassador of the reublci of Djibouti to the European Union and Benelux.

Ilyas Moussa Dawaleh, Finance Minister of Djibouti said, “The European Investment Bank’s new support for water security represents a significant milestone in enabling Djibouti to adapt to a changing climate. The partnership between Djibouti and the European Union will help us to transform and secure water supply for thousands of people in our country and contribute to delivering our country’s sustainable development goals. We are grateful for the EIB’s financial support and technical expertise and we look forward to unlocking the benefits of this collaboration for our people.”

“The European Investment Bank is pleased to extend its support for transformational water investment in Africa and scale up water desalination and wastewater treatment in Djibouti. This visionary new investment demonstrates EIB Global’s firm commitment to addressing water challenges and promoting climate resilience in vulnerable countries through best-practice technology and high-impact infrastructure investment, as part of the Global Gateway initiative. By leveraging renewable energy sources, this project will significantly contribute to achieve sustainable and inclusive development in Djibouti. The sanitation component will fill a chronic investment backlog in the sector and will improve public health and environmental conditions” said Thomas Östros, Vice President of the European Investment Bank.

” This new EIB and EU investment delivers on the European Union’s strong commitment to sustainability and climate action. The investment follows the inauguration of the the Djibouti desalination plant in 2021 and is a perfect example of Team Europe working together. Moreover, it proves the strength of our long-standing partnership with Djibouti in jointly pursuing innovative solutions to water scarcity. Today’s project will become a model for best practices in water management across the region and around the world.” said Jutta Urpilainen, European Commissioner for International Partnerships.

Strengthening climate resilience and water security in the Horn of Africa under Global Gateway

Djibouti is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to the impact of climate change, including prolonged drought, extreme temperatures, flash floods and long-term salinization of soils and underground water aquifers.

The new investment will be implemented by the Office National de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement de Djibouti (ONEAD) and support Vision Djibouti 2035. The project is the second phase of the PEPER- Production de l’eau potable par dessalement et energie renouvable initiative. Phase 1 has successfully enabled 22,500 cubic meters of fresh water to be produced a day. Phase 2 will enable daily production of 45,000 cubic metres of fresh water and includes construction of a 12 MW photovoltaic plant to power desalination.

Transforming water security in the Horn of Africa as part of Global Gateway

Djibouti has been grappling with significant challenges in ensuring reliable access to clean water and proper wastewater management.

The new projects supported by the EIB will focus on the implementation of advanced water desalination technologies and the enhancement of wastewater treatment infrastructure. By harnessing renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power, these initiatives will not only ensure sustainable water supply but also reduce Djibouti’s carbon footprint, contributing to global climate objectives.

The investment will enable Djibouti to develop its water sector, strengthening its resilience to climate change and improving water security for its population. Additionally, the long-term loan and concessional financing provided by the EIB will allow for cost-effective project implementation, ensuring sustainable water management practices for years to come.

The EIB’s funding for water desalination and wastewater treatment in Djibouti represents a significant step towards achieving water security, enhancing climate resilience, and driving sustainable development in the country. This partnership between Djibouti, the European Investment Bank, and the European Union will serve as a beacon of hope, providing long-lasting benefits to the population and setting an example for future water-related projects.

The European Investment Bank has supported energy, telecom and business investment in Djibouti since 1979.

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