News and more

Keep Updated On The Progress

  • Tuesday, 15 August 2023

All you need to know about the wheat supply agreement between the Government of Egypt and the Abu Dhabi Exports Office and efforts to enhance food security through development cooperation

The Ministries of International Cooperation, Finance, and the General Authority for Supply Commodities signed an agreement with the Abu Dhabi Exports Office (ADEX), affiliated with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, to finance wheat imports for the local market at a value of $500 million over five years. 

The agreement was in light of development cooperation efforts between the Arab Republic of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. In the following report, we review the efforts to enhance food security and the international partnerships concluded by the Ministry of International Cooperation over the past period.

What are the details of the agreement with the ADEX?

The ADEX is one of the entities affiliated with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, and the agreement is the first of its kind with the fund within the framework to enhance food security and secure a strategic stock of wheat. 

Technical teams from the Ministries of International Cooperation, Finance and Trade and Supply have concluded a number of meetings and technical discussions over the past period, in cooperation with the ADEX and the corresponding parties from the UAE side, to reach this agreement.

What does this agreement represent in light of the relations with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development?

Egypt has close relations with the UAE, and since 1974, constructive cooperation began with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. 

Over the decades, many agreements and cooperation programs have been implemented, reaching 20 projects with a total value of AED 4 billion in many basic sectors such as electricity, water, social and health services, and housing, transportation, communications, agriculture, industrial development and other important projects in the country.

What are the main pillars of existing cooperation with the UAE side to enhance food security?

The agreement signed today is the first of its kind with the Abu Dhabi Exports Office. However, Egypt and the UAE share long-standing cooperation with diverse prominent projects, including the inauguration  of 25 silos for storing wheat and grain in the 17 governorates, increasing the storage capacity of grains by about 1.5 million tons through a $300 million grant.  

How do international partnerships with multilateral and bilateral development partners enhance food security efforts?

Food security is a pivotal issue for all countries of the world. Therefore, the Government of Egypt is working on many pillars to enhance food security, increase the agricultural area of strategic crops, and increase the storage capacities of silos. 

Accordingly, the Ministry of International Cooperation is strengthening efforts with development partners, and multilateral and bilateral parties to provide concessional development funds, technical support and exchange of experiences to promote agricultural and rural development and achieve food security through programs that meet the requirements and needs of various national entities.

The implemented programs and projects vary in the light of international relations to enhance food security in light of the diversity of partners, as many programs are implemented in cooperation with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), and the World Food Program (WFP), which are programs that fall under the United Nations. This is in addition to ongoing cooperation with the European Union, USAID, Arab funds, the World Bank and other partners.

Among the most prominent recently announced projects is laying the foundation stone for a silo at West Port Said port with a storage capacity of 100,000 tons. In addition, a number of silo projects are being implemented through a $115 million grant from the Saudi Fund for Development.

With the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis, what are the most prominent measures taken to enhance food security?

With the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis and its challenging impact on food security and global supply chains, the Ministry of International Cooperation intensified its discussions with development partners to secure supplies of wheat. In this context, a concessional development financing agreement of $500 million was signed from the World Bank, to enhance the flexibility of the agricultural sector in Egypt and support food security efforts, in addition to a $271 million agreement with the AfDB to support the “Program to Support Food Security and Economic Resilience in Egypt.”

The government also signed with the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) a framework agreement worth $6 billion for a period of 5 years to provide imports of strategic commodities such as wheat and petroleum, as well as another project worth $600,000 in cooperation with the Japanese side to support the state's actions in reducing waste of wheat through systems early warning.

In addition, the European Union’s support program for food security in Egypt was launched through a grant of €100 million to enhance food security efforts and reduce the negative effects of global challenges, in addition to a project of €40 million, a grant from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in favor of the Ministry of Agriculture, to finance the agricultural mechanization project in strategic crops and other related projects.

What are the most prominent efforts to enhance food security during the current year?

Since the beginning of 2023, the Ministry of International Cooperation has continued to enhance food security efforts, and among the agreements and programs that have been signed is a grant agreement of CA$10 million, to enhance food security efforts and combat climate change through the project “Promoting climate-smart agriculture and agricultural biodiversity to support adaptive capacity.” In the rural communities most affected by climatic changes in the old and new lands of the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt,” in addition to a grant agreement between the Japanese Embassy and the FAO worth $3.8 million to support increasing agricultural productivity and enhancing water security.

The WFP also approved the country program for bilateral cooperation with Egypt, at a value of $431 million, to promote national priorities related to social protection, food security and school feeding. The Minister of International Cooperation and the Italian Ambassador to Egypt signed the exchange of letters to extend the agreement for the third phase of the debt swap program for development until December 2024 to ensure the optimal completion of all projects implemented within its framework. The agreement's value amounts to $100 million and is intended to finance several development projects being implemented in various areas, especially food security.

The Minister of International Cooperation participated in IFAD’s the Board of Governors, where she discussed, through a number of bilateral meetings, the development of joint relations to advance food security efforts, based on close relations over a period of 40 years, during which the fund funded 14 projects worth $1.1 billion has had a significant impact on small farmers, including the SAIL Project for Promoting Sustainable Agricultural Investment and Livelihood Improvement, the PRIDE Project for Promoting Harmonization in Desert Environments, and the STAR Program for the Sustainable Transformation of Agricultural Adaptation in Upper Egypt.

Within the framework of Egypt's presidency of COP27, what are the most prominent pillars of international partnerships to enhance food security?

During COP27, Egypt launched the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy platform, the NWFE program, the pillars of linkage between water, food and energy projects. Work is underway on 5 major projects, with the aim of supporting the country's efforts to achieve food security and increase the ability to withstand future shocks resulting from climate change.

The pillars includes 5 projects: the adaptation project in crop production in the Nile Valley and the Delta, the project to enhance adaptation in the northern Delta region in areas affected by sea level rise, the project to enhance the resilience of the areas most in need, in addition to the project to modernize irrigation systems in old agricultural lands, and the inauguration project early warning systems.