Capacity Building through Urban Infrastructure Development (CBUID)

Project description

Title: Capacity Building through Urban Infrastructure Development (CBUID)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Co-funded byEuropean Union Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa (EUTF)
Country: Egypt
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (MoHUUC), Informal Settlements Development Fund (ISDF)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023


With more than 100 million inhabitants, Egypt is among the most populous countries on the African continent. As about 95 per cent of the country’s population live on less than 7 per cent of the total land area along the banks of the River Nile, cities play a significant role in fostering inclusive and sustainable development and in creating better living conditions for all.

The economic downturns that Egypt has experienced during the past decade have had a major impact on living conditions in urban areas. While the country’s urban population continues to increase with at least 70 million inhabitants expected to live in urban areas by 2025, most of this growth is absorbed by informal settlements. What is more, it is often unmatched by the economic prospects that cities offer their residents.

Informal settlements accommodate most of the poor urban population in Egypt, among them migrants and refugees. Built outside of official planning mechanisms, they usually lack adequate infrastructure and basic service provision. At the same time, residents of informal settlements tend to be disadvantaged in terms of access to regular employment opportunities and integration into the formal economic system.

Promoting urban development through integrated and participatory approaches that put communities at the centre of their activities will therefore be of the utmost importance in the years to come. While the rehabilitation of infrastructure continues to be a high priority, persistently high poverty rates underline the importance to couple improvements in the built environment with the provision of long-term economic prospects for Egypt’s growing urban population.


The living conditions in selected informal areas with high migration relevance have improved.


CBUID aims to improve living conditions in informal settlements through the creation of employment opportunities in conjunction with infrastructure improvements in the three target governorates Asyut, Beheira and Alexandria, which constitute areas that either host migrants or refugees or are prone to emigration.

Applying a labour-intensive approach towards infrastructure construction and rehabilitation combined with the provision of vocational and technical training, business development services and SME promotion, the project targets the creation of long-term economic prospects and sustainable livelihoods for the residents of informal settlements. Cooperating closely with local and regional authorities, the project’s approach is an explicitly participatory one that puts communities’ needs at the centre, based on the experience gained from the preceding “Participatory Development Programme” (PDP).

Employment promotion and infrastructure rehabilitation are further complemented through capacity development measures for local authorities and the development of user-optimised management systems for existing infrastructure and basic services with the aim to safeguard the sustainability of the project and promote local ownership. Consequently, CBUID runs along four work streams:

  • Public Infrastructure Management
  • Employment Promotion
  • Infrastructure Construction and Rehabilitation 
  • Institutional Development for climate resilient and socially just Urban Development

Last update: March 2021