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Egypt, France sign EURO 715.6 m pro-SDG deals to accelerate green recovery
Egypt and France signed a Sustainable Development Goals-aligned agreements at 715.6 million euros with an aim to accelerate the transition to a green recovery and invest in human capital.
Egypt’s International Cooperation Minister Rania El Mashat and Director of the French Development Agency Rémy Rioux signed the comprehensive package of development financing deals on the fringe of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s visit to France to strengthen bilateral relations.
The agreements fall within the framework of the 2019-2023 Strategic Partnership in Social and Economic Development between Egypt and France, which is worth one billion euros.
To push for a green recovery and integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into development financing, 150 million euros will be dedicated to supporting the Energy Sector Budget Support Program, in addition to a one million euro grant to promote capacity building and develop an assessment tool on the direct and indirect socio-economic impact of the projects, according to a statement by the International Cooperation Ministry.
The agreement also supports the implementation of regulations and policies developed by the Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency, the statement said, adding that it also encourages electric transport and the application of international standards and recommendations directed at Egypt.
Seeking to protect the health of Egyptian citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister signed a comprehensive health insurance program worth 150 million euros, which will ensure that the targets of SDG Goal 3 for good health to achieve universal health coverage and access to quality essential health-care services are met.
Upgrading education is the key cornerstone of France-Egypt relations. As such, development financing agreements worth 12 million euros were signed for the re-foundation of the French University in Egypt, as well as a grant worth 2 million euros as part of Egypt’s strategy to develop and modernize the education system and create an economy that is based on innovation, competence and essential modern skills.
The minister also signed an agreement worth 95 million euros for renovating the Tanta-Mansoura-Damietta railway line.
Within this context, the minister also signed a 250-million-euro agreement developing the Abu Qir railway line, and a 52-million-euro deal for upgrading the sewage treatment plant in Helwan.
The comprehensive package also included the inking of a 1-million-euro agreement to combat climate change in Egypt, as well as a 1.5-million-euro partnership deal to implement the technical cooperation project that supports teaching of the French language in Egyptian public schools.
This is in addition to the signing of a cooperation agreement between Egypt and France for university hospitals to train healthcare workers, strengthen institutional capacities of public hospitals and promote equality in the health sector.
“The development financing agreements signed with the French Development Agency are fruits of the important visit paid by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi to France to discuss bilateral cooperation in all fields,” Mashat said.
“These international agreements directly contribute to supporting the national goal for sustainable development,” she added.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation is working to apply the principles of economic diplomacy to strengthen the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’. These principles include regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P) to showcase Egypt’s development success stories; and mapping official development assistance (ODA) to SDGs for all projects.
The total cooperation portfolio between Egypt and France is worth €7.5 billion, covering several sectors transport and electricity, housing, sanitation, health, agriculture, small and medium enterprises, environment, basic and technical education sectors, according to the ministry.