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  • Sunday, 21 April 2024

During the 2024 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, participates in high-level events to discuss reforming the global financial system and promoting climate investments in emerging markets.

● Al-Mashat stresses the need for a strong global financial structure to face the challenges facing developing and emerging countries

During her participation in the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Washington, DC, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Group, participated in many high-level events on reforming the global financial system, promoting climate investments in emerging markets, and empowering women.

Rockefeller Foundation Roundtable Discussion 

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Governor of Egypt at the World Bank Group, participated in a roundtable on Reforming the Global Financial System,  organized by the nRockefeller Foundation and the International Monetary Fund, with the participation of a number of ministers and representatives of international financial institutions. The roundtable discussed the need for a stronger global financial structure capable of responding to development challenges, especially in light of the negative effects of climate change. The session was chaired by Ms. Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, Ms. Tatiana Roseto, Deputy Minister of Finance of Brazil, and Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations. 

In her speech, Al-Mashat stressed the importance of the need for a strong global financial structure, in light of the challenges the world is going through, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic, then the war in Europe, and the exposure of countries, especially developing and emerging countries, to successive crises at the level of supply chains and economic conditions. This contributed to the impact of its financial structures.

The Minister explained that public debt as a percentage of domestic product has increased significantly in the past decades in emerging economies and middle-income countries, and that there are 39 countries, according to the World Bank, located mainly in Africa and Asia, that suffer from a debt crisis and face high risks due to financial challenges.

It stressed the importance of the New Global Compact Summit held in Paris, and set 4 main goals: restoring fiscal space to countries facing short-term difficulties, especially the most indebted, promoting private sector development in low-income countries, and encouraging investment in “green” infrastructure for the transition, energy in emerging and developing countries, in addition to mobilizing innovative finance vulnerable to climate change.

H.E also stressed the importance of the availability of innovative financing tools by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, and that the debt swap mechanism for climate action be expanded in a way that enhances the consistency of efforts between development and climate action.

World Economic Forum

Al-Mashat participated in the discussion session held by the World Economic Forum (WEF), on "Jumpstarting Private Climate Finance: Fulfilling the Emerging Markets Promise".  The session aimed to discuss the efforts of providing private sector financing to confront the negative effects of climate change, strengthening partnership between the government and private sectors, and increasing investments within the framework of preparations for the COP29 climate conference.

The session was attended by Mr. Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ms. Joanna MacGregor, Special Advisor to the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, President of the United Nations Climate Conference (COP28) in the UAE, and Mr. Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan and Chair of COP29, Ms. Marina Silva, Host of COP30, Brazilian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and other officials of governments and international institutions.

The session highlighted the importance of climate financing and the role that developed countries must play in supporting developing countries and emerging economies. It also discussed the results of the COP28 climate conference and the procedures for activating the Loss and Damage Fund.

In her speech, Al-Mashat said that United Nations reports reveal continuing increases in greenhouse gases, as well as failure to fulfill promises to developing and emerging countries, as well as slow progress in projects to adapt to climate change, noting that the gap in funding adaptation amounts to about $194 to $366 billion annually, and the Climate Policy Initiative shows that of the total $1.3 trillion mobilized for climate finance during 2021 and 2022, only 10% was allocated to finance adaptation.

The Minister stressed that dialogue and coordination between relevant parties concerned, such as governments, the private sector, civil society organizations, philanthropic organizations and others, has become essential for activating various innovative financing models. Thus, creating an environment to enhance incentives and drive investment confidence in emerging economies to help, and reduce the risks of private investments in climate action.

H.E. said that the national platform for the “NWFE” program is a model for multilateral platforms, based on the principles of country ownership, shared responsibility and transparency, adding that the platform is distinguished by being a practical application of the principles of just financing, and represents an effective model and approach for maximizing the use of development resources and concessional financing to deal with issues of adaptation, mitigation and resilience. This is in the face of climate change and in implementation of pledges.

Scaling up Climate Finance 

The Minister of International Cooperation participated in a round table organized by the International Monetary Fund on Expanding Climate Finance: Different Approaches to Activate Credit, with the participation of Mr. Junaid Kamal Ahmed, Vice President of Operations, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) of the World Bank Group, and Commissioner of The European Union for International Partnerships, and officials from the International Monetary Fund and the Rockefeller and Morgan Foundation. H.E.  stressed in her speech that developing and emerging economies face two crises related to accelerating economic growth and development, and addressing the negative effects of climate change.

She stressed that the debt burden threatens the development achievements achieved over the past decade, so it is necessary to expand the scope of climate financing in low- and middle-income countries, through partnerships and taking advantage of innovative financial tools to unleash private capital to support countries’ efforts to reduce carbon emissions, as well as the need to expand tools to reduce risks in green investments.

Gender Equality 

The Minister of International Cooperation participated in the Women Political Leaders Foundation event, which discussed efforts to empower women politically, economically, and socially over the past decades, and the progress made in this file. The results of the Women in Business Report and the law issued by the Bank Group were also discussed. The Conference was attended by Indermit Gill, Chief Economist of the World Bank Group and Senior Vice President of the World Bank for Development Economics, and Silvana Koch-Mehrin, President of the Women Political Leaders Foundation.

In her speech, the Minister stressed that the world can only achieve its full potential when all voices are heard, all opinions are valued, and both genders are represented equally. Globally, there is still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in terms of representation and leadership.

She stated that in efforts to effectively empower women, the starting point must be access to quality education for young girls, not only in “gender-specific” sectors, but rather those that are typically male-dominated. For example, the emergence of artificial intelligence represents an opportunity to challenge traditional gender roles and empower women in emerging fields such as STEM by investing in girls’ education, promoting female leadership in technology, and addressing biases in access to AI-related training.

The Minister reviewed the measures taken by the state within the framework of efforts to empower women, as Egypt is one of the first countries to launch a national strategy for women’s empowerment 2030 in line with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations to address all the various challenges facing women. In line with the strategy, in July 2020, the Ministry of International Cooperation, the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator ”, the first of its kind between the public and private sectors cooperation model in the Middle East and Africa. It aims to support and enhance cooperation between the public and private sectors and promote decisive measures to bridge economic gaps between genders.

She stated that the Ministry of International Cooperation’s portfolio to promote gender equality has reached about 60 gender-related projects in cooperation with 20 development partners.