UNICEF has pumped $103m into Egypt between 2018 and 2020, to fund a range of social programmes across the country, according to Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
The minister said that the UN organisation plays an important role in advancing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that also match the government’s 2030 agenda.
She also said that there is a focus on supporting Goal 3 for health and well-being, Goal 5 for gender equality, and Goal 4 for quality education.
Minister Al-Mashat added that the organisation’s funds during the 2018-2020 period were pumped into several important areas in Egypt, including the social and health protection for children and women. Part of the financing also went to the provision of educational opportunities over the past two years, which came as part of the strategic partnership framework with the UN that extends until 2022.
Her remarks came during her meeting with Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. During the meeting, the two sides discussed expanding areas of cooperation under the strategic framework amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, whilst also greater economic and social empowerment among children and youth.
Minister Al-Mashat added that UNICEF has implemented many programmes in joint cooperation with the Egyptian government during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include supporting the government’s plans to successfully complete end of academic year examinations in the Minya and Fayoum Governorates and providing all the necessary preventive measures. She noted that this reflects the spirit of solidarity and strong partnership between the two sides.
She affirmed that her ministry is looking to deepen and expand cooperation with UNICEF amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also take into account the identification of priority sectors, and directly design frameworks to meet the Egyptian population’s needs in preparation for a potential second wave of the pandemic.
This cooperation will come under the ministry’s efforts to strengthen the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’ through the principles of economic diplomacy.
These principles include regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative through People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P) to raise public awareness on on-ground efforts; and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
For his part, Chaiban praised the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts to strengthen coordination and work with government agencies in the country. This was undertaken to implement development cooperation programmes that are directly in line with the 17 SDGs. H also asserted that the organisation is looking forward to further cooperation to serve more lives amid the pandemic.
Last June, Minister Al-Mashat met with UNICEF’s Representative in Egypt, Bruno Maes, and announced that the organisation would provide about $17m to support the Egyptian government’s efforts in child protection and women’s empowerment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cooperation, worth $210.9m, between Egypt and UNICEF comes as part of the UNPDF 2018-2022, to support children and youth, whilst also promoting the economic and social empowerment of women.
The Ministry of International Cooperation supervises the framework’s implementation, and chairs the Steering Committee for the framework with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt. This is composed of four outcomes, namely: Inclusive Economic Development; Social Justice; Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management; and Women’s Empowerment.