The $18 million loan recently approved by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi is intended for the construction of seawater desalination plants to supply drinking water to two new towns in the North Sinai governorate.

The Egyptian government wants to build a desalination plant in Rafah, a city that Cairo decided to raze in 2015 to build a new one to extend a security buffer between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

This real estate project is highly strategic, as Rafah is the only crossing point between Egypt and the Palestinian enclave.