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  • Sunday, 23 July 2023

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Meets Special Advisor to the UNHCR to discuss Strengthening Joint Cooperation.

● The UNHCR’s mission commends Egypt's efforts in hosting Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers since the beginning of the crisis in mid-April.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, met with Mr. Hervé de Villeroche, Special Advisor to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and Dr. Hanan Hamdan, Country Representative of the UNHCR, as part of Mr. Hervé's visit to Egypt to follow up on the developments of the refugee influx on the Egyptian-Sudanese border, and to discuss mechanisms for dealing with development partners in this framework, as well as to discuss refugee support programs and projects within the Egypt - UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for 2023-2027.

During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the current position of Egypt hosting hundreds of thousands of Sudanese refugees and asylum seekers, and those of other nationalities, since the beginning of the crisis in mid-April, alongside the role played by the UNHCR to register, document and follow up the conditions of refugees in cooperation with in cooperation with the concerned government authorities. They also discussed the efforts made in collaboration with development partners in this regard.

Al-Mashat stated that Egypt has many development cooperation programs implemented with UN agencies and bilateral and multilateral development partners to provide services and support for refugees and host communities, whether in education, health, social care, as well as providing employment opportunities, housing, and other rights, under the umbrella of the UN Strategic Framework and other strategies development partners. H.E. explained that the Arab Republic of Egypt hosts millions of refugees, and that the state, led by H.E. President Abdel Fattah  El-Sisi, is keen to provide all rights and services to refugees without discrimination, stressing the importance of international reports, issued by relevant international institutions, to reflect the living conditions and decent life for refugees in Egypt.

H.E. mentioned that the Ministry of International Cooperation, in coordination with the relevant ministries and national authorities, is working on implementing many efforts to protect and improve the living conditions of refugees and migrants and combat illegal migration. In cooperation with various UN organizations, many programs are being implemented in different governorates that host refugees and migrants. These include the "Prospects" program, which aims to improve the living standards of refugees in Egypt by providing support to them and their host communities, as well as the launch of a joint platform for migrants and refugees in Egypt, which works on coordinating efforts among entities to provide the best services and maximize the use of available resources for the benefit of refugees and migrants. In addition, the Partnership for Refugees program is being implemented in Egypt to enable refugees by providing education and employment opportunities in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The Minister added that as part of the partnership week between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the UN, a visit was made to the Community Support Center to improve the living conditions of refugees and displaced persons in Alexandria, which works on enhancing social and economic opportunities available to women, children, and providing employment opportunities. Through this center, more than 200,000 refugees, including women, children, and youth, have received education, protection, and social integration opportunities. H.E.  noted that the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), for the period from 2023-2027, includes key pillars to improve the conditions of refugees and migrants and enhance human capital within the framework, reflecting the sustainable steps and efforts being made by Egypt in this regard.

On his part, the Special Advisor to the UNHCR expressed his gratitude to the Arab Republic of Egypt for hosting over 250,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan due to the unstable conditions in their country. He explained that the commission is working through its strong partnership with international finance institutions to enhance support and protection programs for refugees and their host communities.