Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, and Japan’s Ambassador to Cairo, Masaki Noke, signed a $9.5m grant agreement to support the Egyptian health sector.
The Japanese grant, which is worth the equivalent ¥1bn, is set to help Egypt combat the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to ensure it can procure required medical equipment.
The new grant comes as part of the strategic bilateral cooperation between Egypt and Japan, which prioritises sectors including energy, health, transport, tourism and education. The Japanese grant has also been provided to ensure that the pandemic does not derail Egyptian efforts to achieve the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Minister Al-Mashat praised the strategic cooperation between Egypt and Japan, as well as the spirit of solidarity expressed by the Japanese government to support the health sector’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
She added that the new grant ensures that the cooperation portfolio between the two countries has now risen to a total value of $54.5m, which will be pumped into the health and education fields.
Minister Al-Mashat said that the her ministry seeks 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. They aim to accelerate the pace of development in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
At the same time, the Ministry of International Cooperation is adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative through People&Projects&Purpose (P&P&P). This runs alongside mapping ODA financing to the SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
Earlier in April, Minister Al-Mashat held a video conference meeting with more than 100 professionals representing development organisations. During the conference, the participants discussed opportunities for deepening levels of cooperation to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
She presented a New Global Partnerships Narrative, to ensure that all cooperation efforts should not derail development efforts to achieve the SDGs.
In September, Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation, together with representatives from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Japanese Embassy in Cairo, organised a virtual high-level policy dialogue. The meeting sought to deepen levels of cooperation for the year 2021/22, where development projects will be implemented across several sectors.
This will take place in the fields of health, agriculture, aviation, electricity, transportation, and the environment, as well as the promotion of knowledge exchange in science and technology.
Over $18.5m of grants have been dedicated to supporting the export of Japanese medical equipment, as well as technical assistance, to boost Egypt’s health sector and its capacity to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The current cooperation portfolio between Egypt and Japan amounts to about $2.48bn covering 13 projects. A total of $ 1.12bn in funding has been allocated to projects in the electricity and renewable energy sector, alongside $552m to the transport and navigation sector.
A further $450m has been granted to the tourism and antiquities sector, and $137m to the higher education and scientific research field. An additional $168m has been given to the education and technical education sector, and $57m to the irrigation sector.
All projects being implemented take into account several SDGs, mainly: Goal 4 for quality education; Goal 7 for affordable and clean energy; Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities; and Goal 17 for partnerships.