Egypt and the US launched the first joint developmental project to support the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.
The project is part of the EGP 51 million grant the US extended to the ERC in May to address the COVID-19 crisis and its repercussions on Egyptian society.
The project was launched during an online meeting organised by Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation and was attended by US Ambassador to Egypt Johnathan Cohen, Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Nivine El-Kabbag, and head of Public Policy for North Africa at Uber Ahmed Ali.
Cohen said that for more than 40 years the US and Egypt have worked together intensively on health issues, including eliminating polio in Egypt, reducing Hepatitis C infections, eradicating water-borne diseases, training epidemiologists and other medical specialists, and now cooperating in addressing the COVID-19 crisis and its implications.
He added that the ERC is expected to use the EGP 51 million grant to sustain its 30,000 Egyptian volunteers who are supporting on the ground the work of Egyptian government agencies and to help the ERC respond to the current crisis.
It will also distribute 100,000 hygiene kits to vulnerable communities, raise awareness about safe hygiene, and back nurses and doctors in the battle against the crisis.
Cohen praised Egypt’s move six months ago when it sent supplies to the US to help it deal with the crisis, saying that the US today stands with Egypt as it has introduced a helping hand to the US.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania El-Mashat said the current crisis has imposed significant challenges that require collective cooperation to be addressed on the international level and domestically through cooperation with the private sector and civil society.
She added that the US and USAID donation to the ERC reflects the spirit that all countries need to cope with the current challenges, asserting the continued working with the USAID in all sectors that constitute a national priorities, including education, healthcare, science and technology, agriculture, governance, and trade.
El-Kabbag stated that the last three years have witnessed intensive cooperation between Egypt, the US Embassy and the USAID in the field of the most vulnerable empowerment.
She added the new cooperation between the US and the ERC, the most important and oldest civil society entity in Egypt, is very important, adding that cooperation with the USAID in supporting Egypt’s Healthcare sector will make a difference in the ERC services that could reach more people.