CAIRO - 6 January 2021: International Cooperation Minister Rania Mashat said the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can never be achieved without development partnerships and multilateral cooperation at the international, regional and local levels.
In a statement on Wednesday, she said Egypt is committed to cooperation and integration with development partners to accelerate the attainment of the sustainable development goals.
The Ministry of International Cooperation as the National Coordinator, and the co chair of the United Nations Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF)with the UN Resident Coordinator, convened the periodic meeting of the Steering Committee for the UNPDF on the November 4th, 2020 with the participants of all the national entities and UN Agencies under the four workgroups and chart the new path for cooperation during 2020/2021.
During the meeting, It was agreed to allocate an estimated budget of $80 million for economic development, $346 million for social justice, $58 million for environmental sustainability and $48 million for women empowerment.
The UNPDF, launched in 2006 with the Ministry of International Cooperation as co-chair, represents the UN’s cooperation framework with the Government of Egypt. It recognizes the substantial gains already made by Egypt on a whole range of development indicators and takes into account lessons learnt from previous cooperation.
Formulated in coordination with the Government of Egypt through a highly participatory and inclusive process, the UNPDF for the period of 2018 - 2022 is fully aligned with national development priorities, as articulated in the national Sustainable Development Strategy;Egypt Vision 2030 as well as the global Sustainable Development Goals and is based on a number of key priorities.
The UNPDF is composed of four pillars; Inclusive Economic Development, Social Justice, Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management and Women’s Empowerment.
Meanwhile, the Ministry said the strategic relationship between Egypt and the EU, since 1977, has extended across several sectors, positively contributing to economic development.
Currently, the cooperation portfolio between the two sides amounts to $1.6 billion.
This year, the EU has supported the Government of Egypt’s COVID-19 National Preparedness and Response Plan through reallocating $106.5 million under the Health Sector Policy Support Programme – II.
Additionally, it has contributed to the restoration of the Shali Fortress in Siwa Oasis to stimulate the influx of visitors travelling to Siwa attracted by its cultural heritage and local culture, the restored Fortress was inaugurated in November 2020.
Under the “Cross Border Cooperation Program for the Mediteranean – ENI CBC Med”; 13 projects were awarded to 8 Egyptian Institutions. During 2020, there has been a total of $8.4 million spread across sectors including social inclusion, technology transfer and support to startups, environmental sustainability and mitigation of climate change.
Meanwhile, the statement said that the cooperation portfolio between Egypt and Italy within the framework of the debt swap program is worth $350 million, in which $149.9 million is allocated for the first phase, and $100 million is allocated for the second phase, through which about 88 projects.
The Ministry of International Cooperation with the United States of America through the USAID have started discussions on expanding the economic cooperation strategy between Egypt and the US during the next five years (2021-2025).
The new strategic framework mainly targets economic and social development by supporting structural reforms in the various development sectors and supporting the institutional development of ministries and government agencies, as well as contributing to improving the quality of basic education, improving health care services and implementing infrastructure projects in priority sectors, as well as cooperation in the field of women’s economic empowerment under the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”.
The statement added that a joint Egyptian-Iraqi High Committee in Baghdad was held for the first time in 30 years with a series of meetings with the presence of the Ministry of International Cooperation as a way to establish industrial, economic and investment development in both countries.
With the Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and the Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, 15 agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed in aspects such as, strategic development, investment, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, environment, health, customer rights, legal systems, and industry production.
It is worth mentioning that the ministry's 2020 report - under the title of "International Partnerships For Sustainable Development..Writing a Future in Changing Global Dynamic" - said that the development financing agreements secured $9.891 billion in development financing since January 2020 that meet various targets by 2030, with more than $6.7 billion secured for financing sovereign projects and $3.191 billion in support of the private sector. (