The African Union (AU) Commission has commended the cooperation between Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and the World Food Programme (WFP) in developing rural communities and supporting small farmers in Upper Egypt.
The AU’s commendation follows the visit by Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and WFP Country Director for Egypt Mengstab Haile to inspect a number of development projects implemented in the Luxorand Qena Governorates. The joint visit came as part of the country’s strategic programme under the 2018-2023 plan.
In a tweet, Ambassador Abdoulaye Diop, the AU Commission’s Chief of Staff, congratulated Minister Al-Mashat and Haile for the “successful mission”, and called it “an example for Africa”.
Diop noted that the development plan demonstrates “how international cooperation can change the lives of many rural communities”, highlighting it as “an example that could be replicated in other African countries”.
To celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary, Egypt’s Ministries of International Cooperation, and Agriculture, joined the WFP to inspect a number of development projects in the Luxor and Qena Governorates. The projects have been implemented as part of the South-South Initiative, which aims to develop rural communities in Upper Egypt and transfer this experience to other African countries.
In cooperation with Egypt, the projects contribute to building the capacity of one million small farmers by 2023, through the introduction of modern agricultural and irrigation systems.
It will also provide in-kind loans to women in particular, to promote women’s empowerment in the Upper Egypt region. At the same time, the cooperation is designed to transform communities through the renovation and development of community schools into smart schools, to combat child labour and poverty.
Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and the WFP have produced a video entitled ‘Beyond Food’, which showcases the history of Egypt’s partnership with the WFP. The video also highlights the joint Egypt-WFP efforts to end hunger and transform communities across the country.
The Ministry of International Cooperation aims to strengthen economic diplomacy to effectively deliver Egypt’s sustainable development agenda and contribute to human development.
The three principles on which the ministry is working include regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects set up by development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated.
The ministry’s efforts ensure a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative, focusing on People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P). These efforts also focus on mapping ODA financing to the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are applied for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
The partnership between Egypt and the WFP, one of the programmes under the UN umbrella, has been in place for more than 50 years. In this time, the Egyptian government has worked to support sustainable development programmes, by meeting the immediate needs of the countries most vulnerable groups.
The government has also invested considerable effort and finance into supporting development programmes in all fields, with the current strategy for the 2018-2023 period receiving about $586m.
The 2018-2023 strategy is based on several major pathways, including the completion of social protection programmes, and providing food security for the most vulnerable groups. It also looks to focus on women, especially mothers, whilst also supporting the building up of resilience among Egypt’s farming community.