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  • Sunday, 26 November 2023

The Ministry of International Cooperation and the IFAD Organized a Workshop on Stimulating Private Sector Participation in Strengthening a Sustainable Agricultural Ecosystem through the NWFE Program with the Participation of 16 Representatives of Private Sector Companies and Banks

● Al-Mashat: Benefiting from the accumulated experience of the IFAD in agricultural and rural development projects to implement the food pillar within the NWFE program.

● Saleh: We are working with the Ministry of International Cooperation to enhance the participation of the private sector in the agricultural field. We are proud of our partnership in leading the food pillar within the NWFE program.

The Ministry of International Cooperation and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) organized a workshop on stimulating the participation of the private sector in strengthening a sustainable and resilient agricultural ecosystem in Egypt, within the framework of cooperation between the two sides to implement the food pillar within the NWFE program, with the participation of 16 representatives of private sector companies and banks, including Injazat, Nabatat, CIB, HSBC Bank, Tamkeen Company, and Themar Agricultural Company.

The Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat stressed that the workshop highlights the great importance of sustainable development, and the decisive role of the private sector in addressing the issue of climate change, especially in the transition towards flexible food and agricultural systems. H.E. pointed out that the efforts and collective work is currently taking place to mobilize efforts and resources to provide innovative solutions to overcome these challenges.

H.E. also referred to cooperation with the IFAD in implementing food projects within the NWFE program, which serves as the country’s main platform for accelerating the pace of green transformation. This is set to build on the close and historical cooperation with the Fund, through which $1.1 billion was dedicated to finance 14 projects in the fields of agricultural and rural development, benefiting about 1.3 million farmers and citizens of rural areas.

Al-Mashat confirmed that the Ministry of International Cooperation has identified the IFAD as a major partner for the food pillar, given the Fund’s extensive global experience in the field of comprehensive and sustainable agricultural and rural development, its ability to find integrated solutions, mobilize development funds, its resource burden, and its commitment to climate financing and supporting the capacities of smallholders to adapt to climate. The IFAD works alongside the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the main development partner in the energy pillar, and the African Development Bank (AfDB), the main development partner in the water pillar.

Al-Mashat also said she appreciated the efforts made with IFAD over the course of a year regarding the technical qualification of food pillar projects and integration with water pillar projects, referring to the high-level round table held in the presence of H.E. the Prime Minister to launch the first follow-up progress report to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the program’s implementation. The roundtable showcased the significant impact and efforts being made to achieve Egypt's strategic agricultural vision and the gradual transformation of rural communities.

Al-Mashat continued, “Through innovative financing tools, the Fund has empowered smallholder farmers, promoted climate-smart agriculture and irrigation techniques, empowered rural communities throughout Egypt, strengthened the resilience of rural communities, and enabled them to access larger markets. Therefore, IFAD is firmly committed to the empowerment of women and youth, which has been a cornerstone of its work and in recognition of the critical role of these groups in driving agricultural transformation and rural development.”

Al-Mashat stressed the vital role of the private sector, as the Ministry of International Cooperation established the Private Sector Participation Unit and is currently developing an electronic portal to review all aspects of the private sector’s benefit from multilateral and bilateral development partners in Egypt.

For her part, the Regional Director of the IFAD, Dina Saleh, said, “The IFAD and the Ministry of International Cooperation are leading efforts aimed at enhancing the participation of the private sector in the agricultural field, as Egypt has a strong agricultural system, diverse private sector, and a resilient agricultural community, making it well-positioned to meet the challenges of climate change.”

Saleh added, “The IFAD is proud to lead the food pillar in the NWFE project, and in partnership with the government and development partners, we have designed five projects within the program, aiming to enhance the resilience of small farmers in the face of climate change, address the effects of rising sea levels, and improve the livelihoods of small farmers and raising the efficiency of irrigation systems.”

She explained that a collaborative approach is essential for the successful implementation of the comprehensive vision of NWFE, which requires a collective effort from all relevant parties.

It is worth noting that at the conclusion of the high-level round table held by the Ministry of International Cooperation, in the presence of H.E. the Prime Minister, Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, on the NWFE program,Al-Mashat announced the issuance of a joint final communiqué that was made in coordination with 20 development partners and international financing institutions and international alliances in the field of climate action. The communiqué includes appraisal from these institutions for the intensive efforts made by the Egyptian state to fulfill its pledges in the climate agenda, especially updating the nationally determined contributions, which contributed to implementing the goals of the national platform of the NWFE program.

The communiqué also stressed the continuation of development partners, international institutions and all relevant parties to support national efforts to complete all projects listed on the platform, and emphasizes continued cooperation for the successful implementation of the NWFE program, which is consistent with the broader goals of the global development agenda and the climate agenda.