Egypt’s House of Representatives has approved on Monday two international cooperation agreements with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) worth of total of $53 million to support the state's efforts to combat COVID-19.
The approval includes a loan agreement signed on 5 March between Egypt and the IBRD (an arm of the World Bank Group) worth $50 million to fund the emergency response to combat COVID-19 in Egypt.
The approval also includes a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Egypt and the AFESD to provide aid worth 1 million Kuwaiti dinars, equivalent to $3.2 million, to support the fight against the pandemic.
The two agreements come within the framework of the Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation multi-stakeholder platform launched in April 2020, which aims to strengthen partnerships to harmonise all development interventions to maximise work towards ending poverty, fighting inequality and addressing the urgency of climate change, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
“COVID-19 proved the urgent need for international cooperation and coordination to overcome the crisis and support countries to achieve the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, as no country will be able to overcome the current crisis on its own,” Al-Mashat said.
Al-Mashat clarified that the agreement signed with the IBRD helps in providing medical equipment, training medical personnel, equipping quarantine rooms and treatment centres to combat the virus, and mobilising rapid response teams to track contacts of cases, in addition to developing tools to improve public awareness on HIV prevention, as well as innovative monitoring and evaluation of social distancing strategies.
She pointed out that the MoU with the AFESD aims to contribute to meeting urgent needs to support efforts to combat the COVID-19 and limit its spread, as well as to cover the costs of basic medical equipment, medicine, and means of monitoring to limit the spread of the virus, all of which helps protect citizens.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of these agreements to achieve Goal 3 of the Sustainable Development Goals for good health and wellbeing, as well as Goal 17 for partnerships to achieve the goals, noting the ministry’s persistent efforts to push for a human-centred economy within the framework of cooperation between development partners to win international assistance for projects that are in line with the National Development Agenda 2030.