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From Farm to Table: Ministry of International Cooperation Secures $100 million in Development Financing in 2020 to Promote Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture

Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, announced during the launch of the 2020 Annual Report that the Ministry succeeded in securing development financing worth $100 million in 2020 in to promote food security and sustainable agriculture.

The report also revealed that in Egypt, SDG 2: End Hunger makes up 1.89% of the ODA financing in 17 projects with $486 million. The report, titled ‘International Partnerships for Sustainable Development’, tracks Egypt’s progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The report draws on the latest available data found in the Ministry’s ODA SDG mapping exercise, and provides an overview of Egypt’s implementation efforts, highlighting areas of progress and the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on each SDG. Food security was severely affected by the COVID-19 crisis this year due to supply disruptions and global economic recessions. To protect food security, multilateral efforts are needed to ensure that interventions are scaled up and that world trading systems operate fairly and more effectively. To reflect the global changing dynamic, Al-Mashat noted that the Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to apply the three principles of economic diplomacy, which are: organizing multi-stakeholder platforms, ODA SDG mapping, and the Global Partnerships Narrative (People&Projects&Purpose). Through multi-stakeholder platforms, the Ministry has been closely coordinating with the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation and development partners to monitor the progress of current ODA projects in the sector to accelerate the pace of implementation. The report outlines the main success drivers that all the projects fall under, which is the Ministry’s ‘Global Partnerships Narrative’ that focuses on three main pillars: people at the core, projects in action, and purpose as the driver, to streamline all development efforts under one umbrella and push for a human-centered economy. Putting people at the core, the Ministry’s interventions focused on farmer-led sustainable agriculture, which is achieved through building their capacity and improving their access to the right inputs, knowledge, finance, and markets. It was highlighted that 1.4 million families have benefited from IFAD projects in total, and that the World Food Programme supports the capabilities of 280,000 small farmers in 64 villages in Luxor, as well as four other governorates in Upper Egypt; targeting one million farmers by 2030. Under projects in action, the Ministry engaged with various partners, from governments, to international development partners as well as the private sector. In April 2020, Egypt and Italy signed an agreement worth $2.7 million for the Social Welfare Project in Luxor within the framework of the Debt Swap Program in cooperation with the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). The project advocates inclusion and focuses on empowering communities, as it includes supporting families and primary school students in community schools through providing meals, vocational training, and life skills training. In June 2020, the Ministry announced a $4.4 million agreement with the USAID for agricultural and rural development to increase employment opportunities for those working in the agricultural sector in Upper Egypt, Greater Cairo, and the Nile Delta. An additional grant of $780,000 from Agence Française de Développement (AFD) was signed in March dedicated to the “Developing Food Markets in Egypt” project to ensure quality food production. To celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary, the Ministry visited Luxor to inspect the development and renovation of several agricultural projects implemented in partnership with the World Food Programme and USAID. With purpose as the driver, the projects aim to achieve several targets of the SDGs, mainly Goal 2: End Hunger, Goal 6: Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 8 for Decent Work and Economic Growth, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 13: Climate Action, Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production and Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals. According to the annual report by the Ministry of International Cooperation in 2020, the ministry secured development financing agreements worth $9.8 billion during the year; $6.7 billion for financing sovereign projects, and $3.1 billion in support of the private sector.