CAIRO – 13 December 2020: Egypt and the EU signed a new a new amendment to the “Health Sector Policy Support Program II” worth 89 million euros to strengthen healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the Egyptian Ministry of International Cooperation on Friday.
The agreement was signed between Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, and Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt Ambassador Christian Berger.
The Egyptian Minister expressed her appreciation for Egypt’s cooperation with the EU, which is a key development partner for Egypt and implements development programs in a wide range of sectors; with a total portfolio of around EUR 1.35 billion that are all in the form of grants, and which assists in achieving our development objectives without putting extra burden on the state’s budget.
This is in addition to the mutual benefit Egypt receives from international cooperation; benefitting from the EU experiences in various important fields; especially renewable energy, transport, agriculture, technical education and vocational training and women empowerment.
The minister added that the EU contributes to projects led by other European financial institutions or development partners; giving a good illustration of complementarity among different players in development. Examples in this regard include: Alexandria West Wastewater Treatment Plant Project and Promotion of Sustainable Energy in TVET in addition to the pipeline project; Helwan Wastewater Treatment Plant Project.
"Despite the challenges we faced this year, the Ministry of International Cooperation was able to push for progress through applying the principles of economic diplomacy," H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat stated.
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Minister of International Cooperation played a cental role in enhancing coordination between development governments and ministries, including European Union, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Population and the Ministry of Finance, to accelerate the implementation of decisions and ensure that all efforts are streamlined and harmonized.
As a result of this, the Ministry of International Cooperation was able to successfully secure 7.3 billion dollars of development financing targeting health and other vital sectors that were affected from the pandemic.
For his part, European Union Ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger stated that, “I believe that we can win the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic through close cooperation. The current program will help build the capacities of the health sector to confront and respond to the pandemic, and this is the result of close cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation as well as the Ministry of Health and Population. "
He added, "By signing today, we can clarify how the partnership between the European Union and Egypt works for the benefit of Egyptians. In one word: solidarity and close cooperation, especially in a time of challenges.”
The Ministry of International Cooperation focuses on applying the principles of economic diplomacy to strengthen the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’. These principles include regularly organizing multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated to accelerate the pace of development; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People & Projects & Purpose (P&P&P); and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.