Michele Quaroni, Italy's new ambassador to Egypt (L) and Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania el-Mashat
CAIRO - 16 May 2023: Egypt and Italy have signed exchange letters to extend the agreement of the debt swap program for development for a third phase, lasting until December 2024.
The signing was witnessed by Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Michele Quaroni, Ambassador of Italy to Egypt.
et discusses in this article the details of this program:
The Debt Swap Program for Development between Egypt and Italy is a unique model for development cooperation at the bilateral level. Two phases of the program were successfully implemented, under which many $100 million worth projects were executed in various priority sectors.
The projects were implemented in fields such as: environment, agriculture, nutrition, education, cultural heritage and civil society to contribute significantly to achieving the goals of sustainable development.
On top of these projects is the food security sector, where there is a project titled the "Establishment of Field Silos and Information Technology System for Wheat Management" with a value of 416.7 million pounds, in addition to the second phase of the "Development of Fish Farming in Egypt" project with a value of 138.9 million pounds. While in the environmental sector, there is another project that finances the third phase of the "Solid Waste Management in Minya Governorate" project, at a value of EGP 70.5 million.
Benefits of debt swap program
In her comment, the Minister of International Cooperation affirmed the government's appreciation for the joint relations with the Italian side, and the importance of the debt swap program for development, which achieves many goals simultaneously, the most important of which is reducing external indebtedness, and increasing development cooperation projects implemented between the two sides, pointing out that the program that is being implemented with the Italian side, it is a model that many countries and development partners seek to emulate.
The bilateral cooperation relations between Egypt and Italy began after the signing of an economic cooperation protocol between the two countries in 1975. The fields of cooperation vary in various fields, including infrastructure, health care, the environment, and small and medium industries.
Debt Swap mechanism
The debt swap mechanism means to enhance the funding available for development projects through the signing of agreements according to which part of the debt owed to development partner countries is exchanged, to advance the achievement of sustainable development through financing priority projects.
The first phase of the Egyptian-Italian debt swap program for development was signed in In 2001, the value amounted to 149.09 million dollars, and the local equivalent of the entire amount was used to finance 54 projects in the governorates of Egypt in many sectors.
The second agreement was signed in 2007 and amounted to $100 million. Through this agreement, 32 projects in various development sectors were financed to combat poverty and create new jobs at low costs through the solid waste management system, and to establish a wastewater treatment plant in the city of Rubiki.
The third phase of the debt initiative project was signed in 2012, with a value of $100 million. The local equivalent of these funds is used to finance projects agreed upon within the framework of the state plan in the areas of food security, education and higher education, agriculture, civil society, the environment and the preservation of cultural heritage. .