Team Europe and AFD join forces with Pakistan Govt to launch new climate initiative in Punjab

Committing to a substantial green endeavor, Team Europe, comprising the European Union (EU) partners Germany, France, and Italy, has signed a strategic agreement with the French Development Agency (AFD) for a groundbreaking climate initiative in Punjab.

The collaborative initiative, named ‘Punjab Urban Water and Wastewater Governance and Services Improvement’, aims to address pressing environmental challenges in urban centers, particularly in Faisalabad and Lahore.

The Government of Pakistan and Team Europe partners will jointly allocate €179 million to tackle urgent water and sanitation service delivery challenges in Faisalabad and Lahore while strengthening climate resilience. The project spans six years and involves a blend of grant support from the EU and a soft loan from Agence Française de Développement (AfD).

Financial support breakdown

  • AFD – €94 million
  • Pakistan – €72.52 million
  • EU – €12.48 million

Agreement signing in Islamabad

The agreement between EU and AFD was signed by EU Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Riina Kionka and Deputy Director AFD Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Asia, Julie Marsaudon, in the presence of German Ambassador Alfred Grannas and Italian Ambassador Andreas Ferrarese on December 13, 2023, in Islamabad.

Acknowledging Punjab’s economic significance in contributing 54% of Pakistan’s GDP, EU Ambassador Dr. Riina Kionka emphasized persistent water and sanitation challenges and reaffirmed the EU’s commitment to supporting Pakistan’s resilience to climate change. She highlighted the EU’s commitment and readiness to support Pakistan in improving resilience to climate change and redouble efforts for green inclusive growth.

The French Ambassador’s representative highlighted France’s top priority in the fight against climate change, with 97% of AFD financing dedicated to climate-related projects. Since the Geneva Conference on a “Resilient Pakistan” on January 9, 2023, France has committed to strengthening its cooperation on climate change, he said.

The partnership with the EU on water and sanitation is an example of this priority; it will mobilize expertise towards climate-resilient solutions in the water and sanitation sectors, he added.

What will the climate initiative achieve?

The climate initiative is a part of Team Europe’s “Building Back Better through Green Jobs Creation”. The €179 million allocation will address urgent water and sanitation service delivery challenges in the designated areas.

  1. The project aims to install 200 kilometers of new water supply pipes and provide 55,000 new connections in two cities in Punjab.
  2. It focuses on increasing water treatment capacity by 135,000 cubic meters per day.
  3. It will enhance water treatment capacity and urban water governance.
  4. The initiative aims to improve the lives of 400,000 individuals in Faisalabad and Lahore.
  5. The project spans six years and involves a blend of grant support from the EU and a soft loan from AFD.

This collaborative effort stands as a crucial step toward ensuring a better quality of life for residents and businesses in the region, aligning with global goals for sustainable development and climate resilience.

Sana Jamal
Storyteller. Avid Reader. Learner to the core.

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