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  • Monday, 17 July 2023

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Signed Grant Agreement with the Canadian Ambassador Worth CA$10 Million to Implement Climate-smart Agriculture Project & Enhance Adaptive Capacity to Integrate Efforts of the Egyptian Government within the Framework of the NWFE Program

● Al-Mashat: The NWFE program is an inclusive platform for relevant parties to integrate efforts to achieve development and climate action. 

● Al-Mashat: The new agreement enhances the country's ability to face the repercussions of the geopolitical crisis in Eastern Europe, the challenges of food security and the fight against climate change. 

● The Canadian Ambassador in Cairo: Egypt provided a model through its leadership of the COP27, and we are working jointly to advance development efforts. 

● FAO Regional Director: We are cooperating with the Ministry of International Cooperation to highlight the organization's success stories in Egypt and replicate them at the regional level.

● The project is set to achieve many goals, including enhancing the ability of 4,536 small farmers to adapt to climate change.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat and Canadian Ambassador to Cairo Amb. Louis Dumas signed  a grant agreement worth CA$10 million Canadian dollars, to enhance food security efforts and combat climate change through the project “Promoting Climate-smart Agriculture and Agricultural biodiversity” to support the ability to adapt in rural communities most affected by climate changes in the old and new lands of the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt”, at the Ministry’s headquarters in the New Administrative Capital. 

This is within the framework of the Government of Egypt’s implementation of the national platform for the NWFE program, the nexus of water, food and energy projects. The project is scheduled to be implemented in cooperation with national entities, including the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Local Development, the National Council for Women and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The signing event was attended by the Minister of Local Development H.E. General Hesham Amna; the Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Dr. Abdel Hakim El-Waer; Egypt’s UN Resident Coordinator Elena Panova; and FAO Country Director Nasr El-Din Haj Elamin. This is in addition to leaders and representatives of the Ministry of International Cooperation, FAO, the Canadian Embassy, and the Ministries of Local Development and Agriculture.

The agreement comes in light of the efforts made by the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to enhance food security efforts, support the country's vision in combating climate change through the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, and stimulate efforts to move from climate pledges to implementation.

In her speech, Al-Mashat expressed her appreciation for the cooperation with the Canadian side to enhance development efforts in various fields, including women's empowerment and climate action, and the importance of the agreement that was signed within the framework of implementing the NWFE program, which is an inclusive platform for the relevant parties to achieve national goals at the level of development and climate action as well as global goals. It also reflects the integration between bilateral development partners and the UN as one of the largest multilateral organizations to advance development efforts in Egypt.

H.E. also noted that through continuous coordination with the FAO, which has a long history of cooperation in Egypt and collaboration with national entities, including the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Local Development and the National Council for Women, to implement the project, which is consistent with Egypt's climate ambition and its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which was announced during the past month. It also supports the country's efforts to confront the repercussions of the ongoing war in Europe on supply chains and food security globally.

Al-Mashat continued by saying that the new agreement enhances cooperation with the United Nations and its affiliated organizations under the umbrella of the UNSDCF 2023-2027 that was signed recently. H.E. pointed to the ongoing efforts to implement the pledges of the NWFE program, with more results to be announced at COP28. 

For his part, the Minister of Local Development H.E. General Hesham Amna, thanked Al-Mashat, for the fruitful cooperation between the two ministries and the support of the Ministry of Local Development and the governorates in many programs and projects. H.E. also indicated that the existing cooperation between the Governments of Egypt and Canada help farmers and youth, in addition to empowering women in the countryside, referring to the close relations between both countries, which have always been characterized by strength and distinction, in all political, economic and social fields.

The Minister of Local Development pointed to the great importance this project represents to enhance the resilience of the governorates of Aswan, Beheira, and Kafr El-Sheikh through cooperation with a number of partner ministries, led by international cooperation, agriculture, environment, and the National Council for Women. This is also in cooperation with the UN’s FAO, noting that the Government of Egypt is working, in line with directives of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, to strengthen partnership initiatives and cooperation with all governments, international development partners, as well as the foreign and Egyptian private sector, to push the green transition, reduce carbon emissions, and adapt to the effects of climate change.

In the same context, the Canadian ambassador in Cairo said that the project comes within the framework of the existing cooperation between Egypt and Canada, and that they are pleased to cooperate with FAO to achieve the common goals and vision between the two countries, building on fruitful cooperation in confronting climate changes. The Canadian ambassador also applauded Egypt's leadership and role in organizing COP27.

The project promotes the improvement of the lives of citizens in rural areas most in need in Egypt, by reducing the poverty rate and enhancing food security, developing and implementing practices that enable them to adapt to climate changes, and ensuring that the project serves all people whose work depends on agricultural products and agricultural food, in Aswan, Beheira, and Kafr El-Sheikh. The project’s implementation will continue over a period of 4 years, from 2023-2027, and it will achieve a number of goals, including enhancing the ability of 4,536 small farmers, male and female, to adapt to climate change, while increasing their agricultural production and productivity through the adoption of innovative and developed technologies and practices for climate-smart agriculture. That, in addition to enhancing the biodiversity of agricultural systems for smallholders, as a strategy to adapt to climate change with a focus on soil and plant health, and create an enabling environment for integrating climate change adaptation, climate-smart agriculture, nature-based technologies and practices, and biodiversity promotion with local agri-food systems, benefiting at least 144 rural communities. 

In his speech, the Regional Director of FAO Dr. Abdul Hakim Al-Waer, thanked the organization's partners from the Egyptian and Canadian governments for their continuous support, saying, "I represent FAO at the regional level, and we are proud of what we have achieved in Egypt. Our cooperation with the Egyptian authorities is a model of success that can be applied in other countries and we will work in cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation to utilize international forums to highlight success stories applied in Egypt in promoting the SDGs through the NWFE program for potential replication in other countries at the regional level.”

The Country Director of FAO Nasr El-Din Haj Elamin, said: “The FAO has always sought to support Egypt to achieve sustainable development, and they have spared no effort in promoting opportunities towards that, and we are pleased with this signing. The Canadian government has been pivotal in formulating a project to enhance adaptation efforts by supporting small farmers and strengthening food value chains within the NWFE program. Egypt has always been supportive of FAO's efforts by embracing the regional office that was established 70 years ago when the country office was inaugurated in 1967.”

For her part, the UN Resident Coordinator Elena Panova, added: "I express my appreciation for this strong partnership between Egypt, Canada and FAO, and we want to see many of these partnerships to enhance mitigation efforts and adaptation to the repercussions of climate change.”

It is worth noting that the FAO is one of the agencies of the United Nations. During the past year, Al-Mashat and Panova visited a number of projects implemented by FAO in Egypt, in cooperation with the national entities, within the activities of the UN Week between Egypt and the United Nations in Upper Egypt.