During the First Ministerial Conference of the Union for the Mediterranean – UfM, held in Strasbourg on 10 November 2011, the UfM Secretary launched the “Euro-Mediterranean Sustainable Urban Development Strategy” to establish a common and shared framework for the promotion of strategies and plans for sustainable urban development.
On the 7 April 2014, the representatives of the 43 UfM members countries endorsed UPFI, Urban Projects Finance Initiative, the financial component of the strategy. The project is managed by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) with the support of the European Commission. The German bank KFW and the Caisse des Depots et Consignation are closely associated with the project.
UPFI aim to promote sustainable urban projects to improve the living conditions in the cities of the south and east of the Mediterranean. The UfM hopes that 80% of the Mediterranean population will live in urban areas by 2030 and aims to meet the challenges of demographic and environmental pressure brought by this evolution.
The purpose of this initiative is to support urban development projects with and integrated and multisectoral approach that do not go against the local approach. The aim is to help them improve the socio-economic condition of the territory in a sustainable way, to ensure the project’s environmental and financial viability, taking into account the cultural, administrative and urban characteristics of the territories to ensure their establishment in the near future.
15 projects were selected to be funded by the AFD and the EIB, in several Mediterranean cities, on renovation and urban development, transport, water, sanitation and infrastructure.
INTA is one of the 4 groupings that has been selected to carry out between 2014 and 2018 project feasibility studies on the Southern Mediterranean coast on behalf of the AFD, delegated contracting authority for the UPFI. Four technical assistance missions have been led by INTA in Jordania, Egypt, Palestine and Morocco.
The AFD summarized the UPFI projects in a booklet.