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  • Saturday, 02 March 2024

Coinciding with the Signing of the Country Program of the UN Food and Agriculture (FAO) in Egypt, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Discusses Future Partnerships with the FAO Director-General

Minister of International Cooperation:

● The signing of the new Country Programme Framework  comes within the framework of the comprehensive strategy for cooperation between Egypt and the United Nations UNSDCF for the period 2023-2027.

● Cooperation with FAO is consistent with the country’s development efforts and responds to food security challenges through main pillars that focus on enhancing human capital and economic empowerment of vulnerable groups.

● Strengthening coordination and mobilizing soft development financing from bilateral and multilateral development partners in order to enhance the development impact of FAO’s activities in Egypt.

H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, met with Mr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General of the UN’s  Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  in Egypt, and the Regional Representative for the Near East and North Africa region, on the sidelines of the FAO’s signing of the new Country Programme Framework. This was witnessed by H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, under the umbrella of the Egypt - United Nations United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework  (UNSDCF) 2023-2027, in a way that enhances the state’s efforts and priorities to achieve sustainable agricultural and rural development, enhance food security, and improve income and living conditions in rural areas.

During the meeting, the Minister expressed to the Director-General of FAO her appreciation for the efforts made by the organization in Egypt to support food security, achieve agricultural and rural development and support small farmers and small and medium enterprises, in integration with other international organizations, as well as multilateral and bilateral development partners. Through the framework of international cooperation and development financing, the coming period will witness an expansion of the organization’s work in Egypt, in a way that enhances the value, impact and sustainability of development activities in line with the goals and vision of the Egyptian state in facing the challenges of food security and development.

During the meeting, the Minister stressed the importance of the FAO’s country program of the in Egypt, which works to enhance development efforts in Egypt, based on the pillars  and objectives of the UNSDCF 2023 - 2027 which was launched last May. That strategy includes 5 main pillars: comprehensive economic development, social justice, sustainability of natural and environmental resources, good governance, and the empowerment of women and girls. It is consistent with the national priorities represented by Egypt’s Vision 2030, sectoral strategies and presidential initiatives. It also integrates with the country platform of the NWFE program, the nexus of water, food and energy, and the National Climate Change Strategy 2050.

Al-Mashat  explained that the Ministry takes on the role of the national coordinator of the strategic framework for the partnership between Egypt and the United Nations, and co-chair of the joint management committee with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, and the main role played by the various ministries and national agencies in the technical results groups with the participation of UN agencies. Among them is the FAO, and through the joint multi-stakeholder platforms organized by the Ministry of International Cooperation to achieve integration between the efforts of multilateral and bilateral development partners, joint work will be strengthened in order to enhance the mobilization of estimated development funds for the new country program of the FAO in Egypt, which amounts to $71 million, is funded mainly through Egypt's development partners, pointing out that the integration of efforts between various partnerships ensures achieving the maximum benefit from development cooperation programs and various United Nations interventions to achieve development goals.

It is worth noting that the organization's previous program was implemented from 2018 to 2022, and the value of the funds within its framework amounted to about $32.6 million.

Last July,  Al-Mashat signed a grant worth $10 million, with the Canadian Ambassador in Cairo, 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”. It is also within the framework of the NWFE Program. The project is being implemented in cooperation between national bodies, including the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Local Development, the National Council for Women, and the FAO.

During H.E.’s  visit to Rome, in February 2023, the Minister met with the FAO Director-General , as part of the activities of the 46th session of the Board of Governors meeting of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

During the past year, the Ministry of International Cooperation organized the Egypt- UN Week, during which many development projects were visited in the governorates in various sectors, and some projects implemented in the governorates of Upper Egypt were inspected in cooperation between the FAO, the World Food Program, and other relevant entities.

The cooperation portfolio between the Arab Republic of Egypt and FAO includes 79 projects in 124 locations throughout Egypt, including 59 projects that have been completed, and 20 projects that are being implemented within the framework of joint cooperation.

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