Egypt’s cities are growing rapidly, often in the absence of any governmental or urban planning. Around 20 million people currently live in the Greater Cairo Region, the majority (around 60 per cent) in informal, underserved and densely built areas. There is a lack of basic social services and physical infrastructure such as health centres, schools, youth centres, access to drinking water, sewage and waste disposals as well as access to job opportunities. The extreme population density results in high environmental pollution. The local population is mostly poor, with low levels of formal education. Generally, the residents develop their habitat independently without obtaining building permits, which often results in their deprivation of public services and infrastructure. In the aftermath of the political changes that erupted in 2011, residents now expect quick and tangible improvements in their living situation, and the government and civil society organisations can hardly emulate the increasing needs and expectations of the poor urban population.
The PDP is an Egyptian-German development measure implemented by the Ministry of Housing, Utilities & Urban Communities (MoHUUC) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It started in 2004 and the actual phase (until 2018), beside the core-financing by BMZ, is funded by the European Union (EU) and by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) with a total amount of EUR 49 million.