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H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Meets Egypt's New UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Elena Panova

In a virtual meeting on February 9th, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation met with the newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, Ms. Elena Panova

to pave the way for the next phase of continued and strengthened cooperation.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Ms. Elena Panova of Bulgaria as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt on January 14, 2021. Ms. Panova has over 22 years of development and management experience; including all aspects of program management; cross-areas collaboration and resource mobilization, with specific experience in government and private sector financing.

Minister Al-Mashat expressed her gratitude to Richard Dictuss, former UN Resident Coordinator on his commitment to international cooperation and multilateralism and congratulated Ms. Panova on her appointment. “As a founding member, Egypt’s longstanding involvement with the United Nations is rooted in the firm commitment to multilateralism towards building a world based on leaving no one behind” Minister Al Mashat stated. “I would like to first congratulate Egypt on its story of response to and recovery from the pandemic. I am honored and privileged to lead the United Nations Egypt to serve its people and work together with the Government towards achieving the Global Goals” said Elena Panova. Panova expressed that Egypt’s economic development has been noticed by the international community, especially during these challenging times. She added that the drop in Egypt’s unemployment rate and poverty tells a story of a successful and continuous reform agenda. “We have a trusted partnership with Egypt, and seeing that the country values cooperation with the UN, I am humble in thinking that we, as the UN, had a role to play in Egypt’s excellent performance” she added. The Ministry of International Cooperation is the National Coordinator of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), co-chairing the UNPDF Steering Committee with the UN Resident Coordination. Together, Minister Al Mashat and Ms. Panova jointly oversee the implementation of the UNPDF, which encompasses the work of 32 UN Agencies, Funds and Programs operating in Egypt including regional offices. During the meeting, Minister Al Mashat affirmed the Ministry’s commitment to inclusive, transparent and effective dialogue to guide the programming of the remaining period of the current UNPDF, as well inform the preparations of the next UNPDF. “The focus of our work at the Ministry of International Cooperation, stemming from the overall doctrine encouraged by the Government of Egypt, is multilateralism. We are focused on working to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by fostering partnerships with all stakeholders. We want to be as conducive and as helpful as possible in moving our partnership forward,” said Al-Mashat. In collaboration with the UN’s provision of information to highlight development work, the Ministry concluded the extensive first of its kind comprehensive mapping exercise (ODA SDG Mapping Framework) of all current effective projects to identify their alignment with relevant SDGs. Al-Mashat expressed that continued collaboration with the Ministry’s monitoring department is necessary to showcase development projects. The UNPDF, launched in 2006 with the Ministry of International Cooperation as co-chair, represents the UN’s cooperation framework with the Government of Egypt. This recognizes the substantial gains already made by Egypt on a whole range of development indicators and takes into account lessons learnt from previous cooperation. Their development plans focus on four pillars: 1) Inclusive Economic Development, 2) Social Justice, 3) Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management and 4) Women's Empowerment; the UNPDF is in alignment with Egypt’s national agenda and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2018 to 2022. The first pillar aims to achieve comprehensive economic development through providing job opportunities, building capabilities, increasing access to technology in local areas as well as supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The second pillar aims to support access to public services, expand social protection in health, nutrition and education, and enhance efforts to control population growth. The third pillar on environmental sustainability aims to mitigate environmental risks including climate change and promote sustainable housing and management of water and energy resources. The fourth pillar on women empowerment aims to build women’s capacities and participation in leadership positions and the labor market, as well as their empowerment on a socio-economic level. Last November, the Ministry of International Cooperation and Former Resident Coordinator Richard Dictus met to discuss efforts made in 2019/2020, including the pandemic response plan. In the meeting, they announced that an estimated budget of $80 million will be provided for economic development, $346 million for social justice, $58 million for environmental sustainability and $48 million for women empowerment.