Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said has said that Egypt will present a national report on financing for development, which is the first of its kind at the national level.
The report is part of a project that aims to study the state of financing for development in Arab countries, to create a sustainable mechanism for financing in the future. Egypt was chosen as the first Arab country in this project.
El-Said added that the report follows a participatory approach, in which the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development contributes as Egypt’s representative.
It supports the process of drafting the report in terms of data supply, analysis, and review, in cooperation with: the Arab League; the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Africa (ESCWA); the United Nations Development Program (UNDO); the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
El-Said explained that, in parallel with its efforts to achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the national level, Egypt is always keen to participate and interact with international efforts to achieve sustainable development.
These efforts are taking place at both the national, Arab, and international levels. The minister pointed out that Egypt has presented a voluntary national review twice, in 2016 and 2018, and confirmed that the country intends to submit its third report this year.
El-Said added that her ministry presented the first version of the report to decision-makers, as well as representatives from the government, the private sector, civil society, and development partners.
This took place in preparation for a presentation to the international community, with the minister stressing Egypt’s keenness on objectivity and transparency in preparing the report.
She added that Egypt also intends to organise side events dealing with specific development issues around the localisation of development, green recovery, as well as financing development.
This is in conjunction with the launch of the voluntary report during the high-level political forum for sustainable development. She noted that the participation of other Arab countries in these activities is a good opportunity.
El-Said’s remarks came during the opening session of the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development, “Accelerating Action Toward the 2030 Action Plan Post-COVID-19”. The event is being hosted by Lebanon and ESCWA from 29-31 March 2021.
The minister said during her speech that the Arab Forum for Sustainable Development represents an interactive regional platform for dialogue and exchange of experiences between Arab countries.
This is with the aim of achieving the UN’s SDGs, adding that it is an opportunity to renew commitment to implementing the UN Agenda 2030 at the Arab and international levels.
El-Said said that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has imposed a global need for speedy action to confront the pandemic and recover from its repercussions. It has also imposed a need to double efforts to continue achieving the SDGs.
The minister pointed out that Egypt has moved quickly to adopt proactive policies that depend on a clear and studied plan targeting all affected groups and sectors. This serves to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, including the application of incentive monetary and financial policies to support these groups and sectors.
El-Said added that the development efforts successfully implemented by Egypt in recent years, foremost of which are the National Program for Economic and Social Reform, have enhanced the country’s economic resilience and its resilience in facing crises.
She said that Egypt has worked to set its priorities in light of the pandemic, focusing on investing in human capital and increasing allocations to the health and education sectors.
It is also looking to pay attention to sectors that are resilient and capable of rapid recovery. This is in addition to promising sectors that represent a fundamental pillar for promoting comprehensive and sustainable growth, such as telecommunications and information technology; manufacturing; agriculture; and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
This is also in addition to: merging the informal sector; enhancing financial inclusion; and supporting the digitisation infrastructure in the context of enhancing the trend towards digital transformation and expanding new and renewable energy projects.