Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, said that the House of Representatives has approved two international cooperation agreements with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Arab Fund for Development worth $53 million to support the state’s efforts and its emergency response to combat the COVID-19 pandemic
Al Mashat added that these two agreements come within the framework of the “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” multi-stakeholder platform launched in April 2020, which aims to strengthen partnerships to harmonize all development interventions to maximize impact and work towards ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change.
The minister noted that the COVID-19 proved the urgent need for international cooperation and coordination to overcome the crisis and support countries to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as no country will be able to overcome the current crisis on its own.
The House of Representatives approved Presidential Decision No. 452 of 2020 regarding approval of a loan agreement between Egypt and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development to fund the emergency response to combat COVID-19 in Egypt worth 50 million US dollars signed on 5 March. The parliament also approved Presidential Decision No. 427 of 2020 regarding approval of a Memorandum of Understanding between Egypt and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development to provide aid worth one million Kuwaiti dinars, equivalent to $ 3.2 million, to contribute to supporting the fight against the pandemic.
To enhance the government’s emergency response capacity to combat the pandemic, Al Mashat clarified that the agreement signed with the World Bank helps achieve so by providing medical equipment, training medical personnel, equipping quarantine rooms and treatment centers to combat the virus, and mobilizing rapid response teams to track contacts of cases. Additionally, it will help in developing content and tools to improve public awareness of HIV prevention, as well as innovative monitoring and evaluation of social distancing strategies.
She pointed out that the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development aims to contribute to meeting urgent needs to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 and limit its spread, as well as to cover the costs of meeting basic medical equipment, medicines, and means of monitoring to limit the spread of the virus, all of which help ensure protect citizens.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of these agreements to achieve Goal 3 of SDGs for good health and wellbeing, as well as Goal 17 for partnerships to achieve the goals, noting the ministry’s persistent efforts to push for a human-centered economy within the framework of cooperation between development partners to win international assistance for projects that are in line with the National Development Agenda 2030.