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Report:Egypt implemented 377 projects at $25.6 bn to serve SDGs in 2020

Report:Egypt implemented 377 projects at $25.6 bn to serve SDGs in 2020
Saturday 26 December , 2020
By Marwa Nassar - -

The Ministry of International Cooperation said that Egypt implemented in 2020 a total of about 377 projects at 25.662 billion to serve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In the annual report entitled “International Partnerships for Sustainable Development,” the ministry said “Our development trajectory aims to strengthen multilateral and bilateral engagement with development partners, governments, private sector and the civil society to achieve a circular economy.”

“The pandemic hasn’t stopped us or derailed us from pushing forward. Our commitment to chart our progress towards the sustainable development goals helped us secure $9.891 billion in development financing since January 2020 that meet various targets by 2030. We are redesigning development finance to ensure that collectively, international partners, the private sector and civil society achieve a world that is more inclusive, with more than $6.7 billion secured for financing sovereign projects and $3.191 billion in support of the private sector. Today, we are designing financing initiatives that push forward economic and structural reforms, designed to foster private-led inclusive growth tailored to People at the Core through Projects in Action with Purpose as the Driver,” the ministry added.

In 2020, more than $477 million of development finance was secured for the health sector from multilateral partners including the World Bank, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD), USAID and the African Development Bank (AfDB) and bilateral partners including Japan and Canada. COVID-19 merely re-established the importance of strengthening the healthcare sector across all countries.

Marina Wes, Regional Director of the World Bank in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said “We have been noticing the strong involvement by the political leadership in the fight against COVID-19 in Egypt. We also understand the strong social distancing measures that have been undertaken in accordance with the global best practice. We have also noted the recent report by World Health Organization mission to Egypt, which highlights the strong management of the outbreak, the closure of points of entry, the good documentation of surveillance and contact tracing, the process for referral and clinical management, the structured infection prevention and control program, the scaling up of reliable testing capacity, and the good use of communication channels with the right messaging.”

Health has a lot to do with many of the UN’s SDGs including Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Good Health and Well-being (SDG 3), Clean Water and Sanitation (SDG 6), Affordable Clean Energy (SDG 7), Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG 11), and Climate Action (SDG 13). All of which the ministry has been addressing, alongside collaboration with partners to push forward sustainable and inclusive development.

“Expanding health care services is a national priority for Egypt. One of the great examples is The Universal Health Insurance project with the World Bank, which encompasses mandatory coverage for citizens and unifies, for the first time, efforts with the private sector.” International Cooperation Minister Rania Al Mashat commented in the report.

Moreover, about $457 million was secured for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from OPEC Fund for International Development, the AFESD, the World Bank, the AfDB, and bilateral cooperation with Germany.

In 2020, the private sector and its SMEs, through commercial banks, also secured a total of $3.191 billion of development financing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB), AfDB, AFESD, Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and International Financial Corporation (IFC). This goes hand in hand with SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Several banks in Egypt benefited from these finances such as the National Bank of Egypt with $951 million from EIB, $200 million from EBRD, and Banque Misr received $892 million from EIB and $200 million from EBRD.

The IFC is also expanding its activities in Egypt as a way to encourage more engaged activity from the private sector when it comes to sustainable development projects.

The inclusion of the private sector in decision making and development projects brings fresh ideas to the table and helps revamp publicly owned businesses. Generally, public enterprises can borrow talents coming in from the private sector as a way to collaborate and bring everyone to the same page in Egypt’s development story.

“We are very happy with the Ministry’s initiative to create a Multi-Stakeholder Platform which is helping increase coordinated efforts and work among international institutions. The second meeting on Private Sector Engagement in Development, showed already an increased dialogue to set up the country’s priorities and is key for the development of various sectors based on the expertise of each institution, putting the impact on people’s lives at the heart of our efforts. This will help avoid work duplication and achieving quicker results and impact in developing the Egyptian economy”, Heike Harmgart, Managing Director for the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) at EBRD, commented in the report.

Developing rural and agriculture areas in Egypt has become ever more prominent due to the importance of food security highlighted after the pandemic. Agricultural development also tackles initiatives such as women empowerment, climate change, establishing clean energy sources and clean water, and much more.

The total ongoing development projects in the agriculture sector within the Ministry of International Cooperation’s portfolio amount to $545 million. The projects cover several SDGs, such as SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 2: Zero Hunger, SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing, SDG 5: Gender Equality, SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth, SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG 13: Climate Action. In 2020, the Ministry signed a $12 million deal in agriculture, trade and industry with the USAID, AFD and Italy.

Concerning the development of transportation sector, the overall current transportation portfolio of development projects with the Ministry of International Cooperation includes 30 ongoing projects worth $5 billion, financed by various international institutions such as the EIB, World Bank Group, EBRD, the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) and AFESD, in addition to bilateral development partners such as the Government of China, Japan, Korea and France.

In 2020, $1.794 billion in development financing was secured for the transportation sector in Egypt from the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), EIB, EBRD, bilateral cooperation with China, and KFAED.

Transport Minister Kamel El Wazir commended the cooperation efforts with Egypt’s development partners in the transportation sector, and praised the ongoing development projects in place, reflected in Egypt’s enhanced ranking according to global competitive indicators in various reports, stressing the significance of projects carried out by the Ministry for achieving inclusive sustainable development and their impact on improving connectivity of services for the people.

As for SDG5 on Gender Equality, the Ministry of International Cooperation and the National Council for Women (NCW), together with the World Economic Forum launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” in July 2020. This accelerator is the first of its kind in Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region, a public private collaboration model built to take proactive action to advance women’s economic empowerment. The model supports public and private leaders in shaping innovative pathways to promote gender equality, diversity, inclusion and economic mobility through a three-year action plan, which is central to Egypt’s reform agenda.

The Accelerator will engage with up to 100 private sector companies in various economic sectors, in addition to civil society experts targeting the endorsement of policies and plans to advance women’s economic empowerment in different fields and on all levels.

The virtual platform saw the participation of over 80 participants from the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the French Development Agency (AFD), the USAID, and United Nations and its agencies. This is in addition to foreign bodies, including the Embassy of UK, Canada, China, South Korea, USA, Germany, and France, among others. To ensure better results, the accelerator creates a structure for all stakeholders to engage in three stages; initiate projects, facilitate discussions to prioritize actions according to key objectives, and measure impact according to defined targets and metrics before final approval.

Around 34 projects, worth $3.3 billion, were executed to achieve gender equality in the fields of health, education and MSMEs. The Ministry of International Cooperation’s current portfolio of projects that exclusively target SDG 5 include 13 projects amounting to $82 million. This is in addition to other projects in the portfolio that achieve the same goal as a collateral effect to their development.

In 2020, the Ministry has secured an additional financing dedicated to SDG 5, with a total of $7 million through bilateral l cooperation with Spain and Canada.

The ministry issued this annual report to highlight the progress which Egypt realized so far to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

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