Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said has attended the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Forum on Financing for Development for 2021.
This year’s forum, which is taking place for the sixth time, took place on 12-15 April, and was held virtually as well as in-person at the UN headquarters in New York.
As part of the forum, El-Said attended the event entitled “Sustainable Development Financing Challenges: Before and After the Coronavirus Pandemic”, on the side-lines of the Forum.
The minister said, “The world has made remarkable progress in achieving sustainable development goals until the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic took place.”
During her speech, El-Said said that in the past few years, the world has made remarkable progress in achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs). This progress was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The minister noted that the challenges resulting from the pandemic require bold and rapid policy interventions, in addition to mobilising adequate funding.
El-Said added that the shocks resulting from the pandemic emphasised the urgent need to renew efforts to achieve the SDGs.
This will ensure an acceleration of green and sustainable recovery, with the minister adding that this can only be achieved through increasing investments, and strengthening social protection systems. It will also be driven by creating decent job opportunities to ensure comprehensive growth.
El-Said stressed the importance of effective and timely public investment, in addition to the necessity for its main goal to encourage private investment in the main sectors and activities.
The minister highlighted that the Egyptian Government has put in place many precautionary measures to face the crisis. This has been represented in rearranging development priorities and expanding investment in human capital.
It has also meant putting in place social protections and support for vulnerable groups, whilst giving priority to flexible sectors such as the ICT sector, agriculture, logistics, and manufacturing, and continuing to establish and improve infrastructure.
During her participation at the event, El-Said reviewed the measures taken by Egypt, pointing to the accelerated transition towards a green and resilient economy through the issuance of green bonds.
This has ensured Egypt’s place as the first country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to issue green bonds, as well as adopting sustainability standards to ensure the transition to a green economy.
The minister added that recent developments have supported the need to search for innovative mechanisms to facilitate the establishment of effective partnerships between the public and private sectors.
She pointed to the establishment of The Sovereign Fund of Egypt (TSFE) as a reliable mechanism for the government to participate in investment with local and foreign partners. This would allow for benefits from Egypt’s enormous potential to be maximised, along with the value of its unused assets and abundant resources.
El-Said also noted the importance of strengthening regional and international cooperation to develop a comprehensive framework. This is based on the principles of equality, as well as common and differentiated responsibilities, alongside respect for capabilities.
Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and Economic Development will, in cooperation with the Arab League, organise a side event titled “Challenges of financing sustainable development: before and after the spread of the Coronavirus”. This will take place on the side-lines of the activities of the Global Forum on Financing for Development 2021.