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  • Thursday, 16 February 2023

Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat Discusses NWFE Program at the 46th IFAD Governing Council “Accelerating Action for Food Security”

● Egypt is working with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to mobilize diverse financing mechanisms and stimulate private sector participation effectively in promoting food security.

● H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat said that the Nexus for Food, Water and Energy Program (NWFE) has a direct and indirect impact on improving the lives of citizens and enhancing mitigation and adaptation efforts to the impacts of climate change.

● Global challenges have reinforced the need to scale up food, water and energy security efforts to respond to emergencies.

The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat participated in a panel discussion on "Challenges and Opportunities in the Water-Food -Energy Nexus" during her participation in the 46th session of the IFAD Governing Council in Rome, Italy, which focused on accelerating action for food security in the face of the challenges facing the world, with high-level participation from the IFAD Senior Management, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Heads of State, government and various international organizations.

In addition to H.E, the panel included Kevin Kariuki, Vice-President of Power, Energy, Climate and Green Growth, African Development Bank Group (AfDB), Aaron Leopold, CEO of EnerGrow, Esther Penunia, Secretary-General, Asian Farmers’ Association, moderated by Kitty van der Heijden, Director-General for International Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kingdom of the Netherland.

Al-Mashat said that recent global developments have shown the need for urgent and comprehensive climate action that promotes water, food and energy security, develops solutions to climate challenges and builds resilient and sustainable systems. She pointed out that the Government of Egypt has launched the Country Platform for the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy (NWFE Program), which seeks to explore solutions and use an integrated framework to stimulate the green transition in three key and interconnected sectors: water, food and energy through an effective approach.

The Minister pointed out that the program adopts an approach based on achieving inclusive development and directly benefiting citizens by providing solutions that enable renewable energy at affordable prices, promote food security, and protect the most vulnerable areas from the impacts of climate change to become more livable, especially the Delta areas which is classified as among the most vulnerable areas to climate change.

Al-Mashat said that the NWFE Program includes 9 projects aimed at the equitable transition towards renewable energy, improving resilience and adaptability to climate change in local populations, providing clean water and sustainable management of water resources, stressing that the projects cover the three main axes of climate change mitigation, adaptation, losses and damage.

The Minister touched on the importance of the programme in developing a replicable model for developing countries and emerging economies to strengthen climate action efforts as they need to benefit from the exchange of experiences and experiences, pointing to reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that indicate that 3.5 billion people around the world already live in areas severely affected by climate change, which reinforces the need to move forward towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate, reducing global warming and enhancing the capacity to adapt to these variables.

She pointed out that the programme is working to capitalize on the development opportunities available to Egypt through its strategic location and capacity to expand in renewable energy, under the umbrella of the National Climate Change Strategy 2050 (NCCS) and the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to achieve sustainable growth, low-emission development, enhance adaptability and resilience, stimulate scientific research, technology transfer, knowledge and awareness of climate change risks.

She spoke about the food pillar  within the NWFE program which the IFAD is the main development partner in supporting and coordinating the work of this axis, which includes 5 major projects, with the aim of supporting the state's efforts to achieve food security and increase the capacity to withstand future shocks caused by climate change.

The focus includes the Adaptation to Crop Production Project in the Nile Valley and Delta, which aims to introduce and deploy climate change adaptation technologies that will help the communities most affected by climate change to reduce their losses and increase income by targeting 3.5 million acres in the Nile Valley and Delta region, increasing agricultural productivity by 10-15% and increasing income by 10-20%, along with the Adaptation of Northern Delta Affected by Sea Level Rise, which provides a safe environment for about 10 million residents in this region and protects soil due to sea level rise through clear mechanisms for rural communities to build up their capacity to deal with the risks of high food insecurity, while promoting the ability of these communities to protect themselves from the dangers of high food insecurity, and the development of a first line of defense.

The third project within the food axis is the Resilience for Most Vulnerable and Marginal Regions, which is to be implemented in desert areas such as Al-Wahat, Al-Maghra, Sinai and other desert areas, and will benefit about 5 million people, by strengthening the resilience of areas exposed to the impact of climate change through combating desertification, rehabilitating areas at risk, and collecting rainwater, through specific inputs aimed at improving the livelihood of farmers. This is in addition to a project to  On-farm Irrigation of Old Lands that will benefit 15 million citizens, and the project promotes increasing the efficiency of the irrigation process from 50% to 70% through the development and modernization of irrigation systems. The project is expected to provide job opportunities for more than 21,000 needy men and women in rural areas. The fifth project included in the food axis is Establishing an Early Warning System, which benefits 30 million citizens in the Nile Valley and the Delta. Through the launch of early warning systems to improve the forecasting system for weather services for agriculture, the promotion of modern agricultural extension, and the establishment of an agricultural insurance system against the risks of climate change.

Moreover, the Minister emphasized that the targeted projects were selected based on three main principles: identifying projects that address the basic pillars of the Paris Agreement in the field of mitigation, adaptation and resilience, have direct and indirect impacts on the citizen to meet the needs of clean energy, food and water, and their role in stimulating climate action and areas of mitigation and adaptation.