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  • Thursday, 24 December 2020
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Impactful Stories: Ministry of International Cooperation Secures $754.4 Million of Development Financing to Support Bedouin Communities in Sinai

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 $754.4 million to support Bedouin communities in Sinai and build resilient, safe and culturally inspiring living conditions.

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. To reflect the changing global dynamic, the report states that the ministry’s current efforts are aimed towards putting integrated sustainability at the heart of development projects, which helps unleash the potential Bedouin of communities through diversifying their sources of income and increasing their agricultural activity. Success Drivers: People&Projects&Purpose 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 report states that its policy revolves around fostering connections with communities and recognizing their needs well as opportunities. It aims to include the communities in the development process and allow them to communicate aspects of their cultural heritage. Under projects in action, the Sinai Peninsula Development Program is implemented in partnership with several financing institutions (the Saudi Fund for Development, the Kuwaiti Fund for Arab Economic Development, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development) with a value of $2,698 billion, which is allocated to a diverse portfolio of sectors including transportation and infrastructure, higher education and scientific research, agricultural development, community development, irrigation and water resources. The program will provide services to 558,000 citizens, establish 2,600 new homes, reclaim, cultivate 18,000 feddans and unlock 20,000 job opportunities. Additionally, more than 150 villages in the Sinai Peninsula benefit from the program’s projects, which also targets inclusive growth through providing job opportunities for youth and achieving food security for Sinai’s residents. To protect water security and support Bedouin communities, the water desalination plant for Eastern Port Said, Bahr El Baqar water drainage system is funded with a value of $182 million, and has a production capacity of 150,000 cubic meter and can be increased to 250,000 cubic meter a day. The Bahr El-Baqar drainage water drainage system also has a capacity of 5 million cubic meter a day and can reclaim 400 thousand acres of the Sinai Peninsula. Integrating environmental sustainability, it aims to preserve the environment by reducing water losses for agricultural development and providing 100,000 job opportunities that can help sustain families and improve livelihoods. The Al-Mahsama Irrigation Drain Water Treatment Plant has also been named Infrastructure Project of the Year at the 2019 Construction Innovation Awards, which was implemented in cooperation between Egypt and the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), and in partnership with the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities as well as the Ministry of Water Resource and Irrigation. Seven projects have also been implemented within the Sinai Peninsula Development Program to upgrade transportation and integrate the road network, with a total of $637.3 million in development financing implemented in partnership with the Saudi Fund for Development and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development. Creating an independent ecosystem for each Bedouin family in Sinai, the Community Development Program aims to develop 26 communities, which will include social housing, educational institutions, a health unit, sports square, a commercial complex, and 26 agricultural complexes to provide culturally inspiring living conditions. It includes 1,181 housing units with 10,610 feddans across North and South Sinai. With purpose as the driver, the projects aim to achieve several targets of the SDGs, namely Goal 1 for No Poverty, Goal 2 for Zero Hungry, Goal 6 for Clean Water and Sanitation, Goal 8 for Decent Work and Economic Growth and Goal 11 for Sustainable Cities and Communities. In total, the Ministry of International Cooperation secured $9.891 billion in development financing since January 2020 that meet various targets by 2030.