MENA region

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MENA: EXI has provided around EUR 6.3 million of funding for 22 projects

Since the formation of the ‘Export Initiative Environmental Protection’ (EXI), 22 projects have been funded in Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Two-thirds of this funding was provided during 2021 and 2022.Accordingly, MENA is a key regional point of focus for the funding of projects that promote the application of German environmental technical systems and know-how transfer.

Total funding of EUR 6.3 million for 22 projects since 2016

A total of 22 projects have been funded in Middle East and North Africa with a volume of EUR 6.3 million. Focus topics for these activities mostly involve the two priority areas of water and waste water management (13 projects), and the circular economy (5 projects). Both completed and ongoing projects and commissions are concentrated in the countries of Iran (six) and Jordan (ten), as well as Egypt (four) and Saudi Arabia (two).

Two-thirds of funding to date provided during 2021 and 2022

During 2021/2022, two-thirds of funding volume provided to date – some EUR 4.2 million – was invested in projects in MENA. (As of 11/2022.)

During 2021 and 2022, nine projects received a grant from the funding programme. The total budget for these projects alone runs to around EUR 4.2 million.

The Export Initiative Environmental Protection cooperates with international partners to implement its projects. One of these partner organizations is Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. The global project from the GIZ supports the German Federal Environment Ministry’s funding programme in selected partner countries worldwide by transferring knowledge about integrated environmental protection and climate change mitigation technologies and engaging in local capacity building. Within MENA, the GIZ received commissions in Egypt and Jordan for the circular economy action area with 44 percent of the 2021 and 2022 funding volume.

Focus countries and focus topics for MENA in 2021/2022 

Focus countries

  • Jordan, four projects
  • Egypt, two projects
  • Egypt/Iran, one project
  • Iran, one project
  • Saudi Arabia, one project

Focus topics

  • Water and waste water management, six projects
  • Circular economy, two projects
  • Green hydrogen, one project

Selected focus topics and projects

In terms of content, the focus for six projects is on the topic area of water and waste water management. Measured in terms of funding volume, the circular economy priority area is the area most comprehensively supported in MENA.

Water and waste water management as topic area most commonly addressed

Of the nine projects funded in MENA during 2021 and 2022, no less than six projects focused on the topic area of water and waste water management. Measured by funding volume, the clear focus of the Export Initiative in MENA was on the topic area of the circular economy, with a total of EUR 2.8 million of funding being provided to two major GIZ projects. As a result, knowledge transfer, and models and technologies for waste avoidance and recycling were strongly represented, reflecting the need for circular, green advanced technologies in the waste management sector in this region.

Selected projects in MENA:


Egypt: GIZ – Extended Producer Responsibility in the tourism sector

The aim of this project was to reduce the uncontrolled disposal of waste in Egypt’s tourism sector. Funding was provided to the recycling sector and the introduction of an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) system for packaging, by creating the necessary general conditions and elements to ensure the successful rollout of such a system. As a result, the project has made a direct contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities, and to SDG 11 target 11.6 in particular: “By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management.”

Iran: FEWA-TT Flexible Wastewater Technology – Training and Transfer

The aim of this project was to set up a web-based platform to support international development and know-how transfer – a digital academy.This digital academy was intended to use decentralised waste water technologies in Iran as an example of how to trial the options and applicability of this solution strategy for the support of international partnerships and, if successful, to expand this to other topic areas.

Jordan: WATSON – efficacy analysis of Export Initiative Environmental Protection project in Jordan in the water management sector

This project produced a comprehensive and qualitative analysis of water management projects completed in Jordan as part of the Export Initiative Environmental Protection from the German Federal Environment Ministry (BMUV). To this end, the project prepared a comprehensive study, a handout with specific recommendations for follow-on projects and an updated country profile for Jordan. The country profile was also intended to present new developments relating to the circular economy. The underlying data for these three deliverables were sourced from included documents and project reports, standardised quantitative surveys (conducted online) as well as partially standardised qualitative interviews with key actors and programme managers from a range of projects.