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  • Friday, 06 October 2023

Covering the Education, Health, Economic Empowerment of Rural Women, Child Labor, Entrepreneurship & Climate Change Sectors: The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Witnesses Signing of 7 Development Grant Agreements between Italy, United Nations agencies and programs, and the World Bank, worth $34 Million

Minister of International Cooperation: The signed agreements reflect the comprehensive impact of international cooperation efforts to promote the development agenda in Egypt.

We are keen to maximize the impact of international partnerships through the principles of effective development cooperation.

The Italian Ambassador: We aim to enhance economic growth and development, direct attention to the most vulnerable groups, and develop the entrepreneurship system in Egypt.

Within the framework of enhancing multilateral cooperation efforts to support various areas of development in Egypt, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, witnessed the signing of 7 grant agreements funded by the Italian government and implemented by United Nations organizations and programs and the World Bank in cooperation with the relevant national entities, worth $34 million.

This covers a variety of sectors including education and health services for women and children, economic empowerment of rural women, combating child labor, supporting the national action plan, accelerating entrepreneurship and combating climate change. 

This was in the presence of H.E. Hassan Shehata, Minister of Labour, Dr. Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women (NCW), Nevin Othman, Secretary-General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator, and  Basil Rahmi, CEO of the Egyptian Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA).

The agreements were signed by the Italian Ambassador to Egypt, H.E Michele Quaroni, with representatives of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF in Egypt, the United Nations Women, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Labor Organization (ILO), and representatives of the World Bank, at the headquarters the Italian embassy.

These agreements come within the framework of bilateral cooperation between the Arab Republic of Egypt and Italy and joint efforts to promote development, and are as follows:

1. Combating the worst forms of child labour through the implementation of the National Action Plan for the Elimination the Worst Forms of Child Labour in Egypt and Supporting the Family, 2018-2025 with ILO

2. The Socio-Economic Empowerment of Rural Women in Assiut and Sohag with UN Women

3. Towards Equitable Access to Quality Education and Health Services in Egypt for Women, Children and Other Members of Migrant and Host Communities in Vulnerable Situations with IOM

4. Strengthening the Alternative Care System for Children without Parental Care in Egypt with UNICEF

5. Accelerating High Growth Entrepreneurship in Egypt with World Bank

6. Tackling Climate Change through Sustainable Livestock Management with FAO

7. Protection, Services and Empowerment: Invest in a zero-tolerance environment against all forms of Gender Based Violence Against Women and Girls in Egypt with UNFPA

In her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of these agreements, which reflect the efforts of multilateral cooperation in Egypt with development partners and national entities to support various areas and sectors of development, through close coordination between the Italian side, United Nations organizations and programs, and the relevant national entities. H.E. thanked all the technical teams and relevant ministries for the efforts made in formulating the agreements and programs implemented with development partners.

The Minister applauded the close partnership with the Italian side at the level of bilateral cooperation and debt swap programs, as a result of which many priority development projects were financed in the areas of food security, energy, water, education, higher education, civil society and other projects, pointing to the keenness of the Ministry of International Cooperation to enhance the effectiveness of development cooperation efforts through the four principles of the “Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation” which are country ownership, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and accountability.

H.E. added “The seven agreements that include the Italian government and 6 United Nations agencies, along with the World Bank, are an affirmation of the comprehensive and effective impact of international cooperation efforts to enhance sustainable and comprehensive development efforts in Egypt.” They are also consistent and complementary with the Egypt - UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) 2023-2027.

For his part, H.E Michele Quaroni,, the Italian Ambassador to Egypt, said, “I would like to stress the importance of the agreements that we signed; we are convinced that they will contribute to promoting sustainable economic growth and promoting development in Egypt, in addition to directing special attention to the social dimension by supporting groups Women and children, as well as immigrants and refugees, in need, as well as developing human resources and the entrepreneurship system in Egypt.”

It is worth noting that bilateral relations between Egypt and Italy began in 1975, and the bilateral cooperation portfolio amounts to about €82 million, in several development sectors, including supporting small and medium enterprises, stimulating the private sector, and promoting growth in the agricultural, health, and environmental sectors. In addition, the debt swap, one of the main axes of cooperation between the two sides, within the framework of which 3 axes were implemented, worth $350 million.