Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat - Press Photo
CAIRO – 23 April 2020: The Egyptian House of Representatives approved in its plenary session the first amendment of the assistance agreement signed between Egypt the United States of America regarding the North Sinai Development Initiative with an additional grant of $6 million.
This approval brings the total of the agreement that was initially signed between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Government of the United States of America represented by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)to $56 million.
Commenting on this agreement, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat affirmed that this agreement comes in line with the new strategy of her ministry which is based on 3 main axes, noting that the first axis is about “Egyptian people” who are the focus of attention and ongoing projects.
“For the first axis, the citizen is the focus of the government attention and the project will provide drinking water for about 300,000 citizens and sanitation services for about 100,000 citizens,” she clarified.
“With regard to the second axis, which is ongoing projects; this project is compatible with the economic and social reform program of the Egyptian government, and includes drilling water wells in North Sinai, the establishment of desalination plants, the work of a fish farm and the use of water from the farm in agriculture, and support for transportation services throughout the governorate,” Al-Mashat noted, pointing out that these come as part of the efforts of the Ministry of International Cooperation to provide grants through development partners that contribute to improving the lives of citizens in Sinai, as part of the second phase of the Sinai Development Program.
The Minister noted that the project contributes to achieving five goals for sustainable development. including clean water and hygiene goal by providing safe drinking water for citizens, along with the goals of eliminating hunger, providing food security and improved nutrition and promoting agriculture Sustainable, through the work of a fish farm and the use of water from the farm in sustainable agriculture, and the eighth goal of sustainable development which is decent work and economic growth, where the project contributes to improving employment opportunities in North Sinai governorate in light of the exceptional circumstances the economy is going through, as a result of the emerging Corona virus.
She added that the goals also include the eleventh goal of sustainable cities and communities through the means of transport for rural communities and improving the infrastructure, and support the most needy groups, and the seventeenth goal is to hold a partnership to achieve the goals, through the partnership between Egypt and the U.S. in North Sinai development, which comes within the economic partnership between the two countries in the development sectors of national priority and the development projects and programs that have been identified in accordance with the priorities of the citizen.
For his part, Chairman of the Transport and Communications Committee in the House of Representatives, and Chairman of the Joint Committee of Transportation, Agriculture, Local Administration, Foreign Relations and Housing Committees of the Council, Hisham Abdel Wahed, confirmed that the committee agreed to this grant because of its clear growth impact affecting improving services provided to citizens in the center And North Sinai.
He stated in the report submitted by the joint committee before the plenary session of the House of Representatives, that the amendment made by the Ministry of International Cooperation to this agreement would enhance the necessary capabilities to achieve the goals of the North Sinai initiative by providing logistical services for agricultural activities such as the construction of wells and desalination and treatment of groundwater that work to improve productivity and technology, including irrigation and marketing, to allow Sinai farmers and their producers to compete in the internal and export markets, and to improve transport services in the central and northern Sinai region.