Ministry of International Cooperation launched on Monday an initiative supporting the 30,000 volunteers and healthcare professionals conducting coronavirus-related community outreach for the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC).
The initiative was launched in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Solidarity and the US government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
A grant worth EGP 51m, equivalent to $3.2m, was provided by USAID for the initiative, which will support the ERC’s volunteers as they conduct community outreach and help prevent the spread of the ongoing health crisis. It will also help build the ERC’s capacity to respond to future crises.
USAID’s assistance to the ERC will support the distribution of hygiene kits to vulnerable rural and urban demographics. It will also supplement the ERC’s mobile resource centres to increase awareness of safe hygiene practices, provide initial fever screenings, and provide psycho-social support services to healthcare workers.
USAID has also facilitated a partnership between Uber and the ERC for the ride-hailing company to provide reliable transportation solutions for the ERC’s front line health workers.
Minister of International Cooperation said the initiative is the first development project to be launched in practice virtually. It brings together the main partners, including civil society and the private sector, to work together to fulfil the needs of the Egyptian market. As a result, it is contributing to Egypt`s social development and economic growth.
The minister added that the initiative reflects the long and established partnership with the US, and that it paves a way forward for working with USAID in all sectors of national priority. She noted that this lies specifically in the health, education, science and technology, agriculture, governance and trade sectors.
During the virtual event, US Ambassador to Cairo Jonathan Cohen said, “It’s my great honour to acknowledge another step forward in the solidarity and cooperation between Egypt and the US in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.”
He added, “It also celebrates our partnership with the ERC and the Government of Egypt as we try to stop the virus’ spread in communities throughout the country.”
For her part, Minister of Social Solidarity and Deputy Chairperson of ERC Nevine El-Kabbaj said “We are proud of our cooperation with USAID to support the constant efforts exerted by the Egyptian Red Crescent, one of the most important NGOs in Egypt, whose mission is mostly focused on health and relief sectors, education and awareness, as well as supporting refugees in Egypt.
She added that the effective response to the impact of COVID-19 requires pulling efforts and combining resources of international organizations in providing the maximum possible protection for the most vulnerable groups and all humanity.
El-Kabbaj assured that Cooperation with USAID will have a major impact in the development of the ERC services and its access to a larger number of beneficiaries; assuring that providing support during this critical time is a humanitarian and developmental responsibility.
Uber’s Head of Public Policy North Africa, Ahmed Aly commented, that this partnership comes as part of Uber`s global pledge to help cities and healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will continue to work closely with the Egyptian government and its partners to accommodate the societal needs.