Caption: Food security- CC via pixnio
CAIRO - 30 March 2023: Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Supply and Internal Trade, Agriculture and Land Reclamation, witnessed the signing of a grant agreement of €40 million provided by the European Union, implemented by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, to enhance food security efforts in Egypt.
Through the grant agreement, the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation will cooperate with the Ministry of Agriculture, to implement the component on “supporting wheat and grain production by increasing access to certified seeds and mechanization at a value of €25 million.
It aims at implementing activities related to agricultural mechanization for the production of improved grains and seeds, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Supply, it will work on establishing field silos, as well as completing the information system to control the movement of wheat in Egypt, at a value of €15 million.
This comes within the framework of the “European Union’s support for food security in Egypt” program, funded by a grant of €100 million. Projects related to the remaining amount, estimated at €60 million, are being agreed upon.
“The agreement signed between the European Union and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation comes in light of the efforts made by the Egyptian state, through development cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to face food security challenges resulting from the Russian-Ukrainian war, in addition to strengthening national efforts in the field of grain production and storage, stimulating climate resilience and increasing the storage capacities of strategic grains,” Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat stated.
Al-Mashat referred to the moves taken by the Ministry of International Cooperation since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war, in implementation of the state’s directives to expedite facing the challenges resulting from this crisis.
This resulted in the signing of several partnership agreements to support food security efforts, including the emergency project to support food security and flexible response at a value of $500 million with the World Bank, the Takaful and Dignity Expansion Program worth $500 million with the World Bank, and the Food Security and Economic Resilience Support Program at a value of $271 million. dollars with the African Development Bank, she noted.
Al-Mashat explained that, in line with these efforts, the Ministry of International Cooperation launched the national platform for green projects, the “NWFE” program, which represents a platform for the involvement of a large number of development partners, representatives of the private sector and relevant parties, to mobilize concessional development funds that stimulate climate action, and provide a model to build on regionally and globally.
She pointed out that the food axis within the program includes 5 main projects: “Adaptation of Crop Production in the Nile Valley and the Delta”, “Promoting Adaptation in the North Delta Region in Areas Affected by Sea Level Rise”, and “Enhancing the Resilience of Most Needed Areas ” project, and “Modernizing Irrigation Systems in Old Agricultural Lands” project and “Inaugurating Early Warning Systems” Project.
The Minister of International Cooperation appreciated the partnership between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the European Union, as well as the Italian side, which enhances development efforts in various sectors, including food security efforts, the development of small and medium enterprises, education, and agriculture.
Martino Melli, head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, pointed out that the agency’s long-term goal is to support and empower rural communities, especially women.
The ongoing development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the European Union amounts to about €1.3 billion. These projects are funded through European financing mechanisms within the framework of bilateral and regional cooperation, and the blended finance mechanism.
With the Italian side, three phases of the Egyptian-Italian debt swap program for development have been implemented, at a value of €350 million, through which 106 projects are financed in the following sectors: food security, education, agriculture, civil society, environment and cultural heritage.
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