Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation has managed to secure agreements worth $7.3 billion in 2020 to cover Egypt’s priority sectors, $4.5 billion of which are for financing sovereign projects and $2.7 billion are for financing the private sector, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat announced in a statement.
The agreements come within the Ministry of International Cooperation’s framework to strengthen economic relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners to meet Egypt’s development financing needs in accordance with the priorities of the National Agenda 2030 and the 17 sustainable development Goals (SDGs).
Al-Mashat said that the ministry has been committed to charting the course for progress towards the SDGs as the world enters into a “decade of action and delivery,” redesigning development finance to be dedicated to sustainable development and collectively achieving the National 2030 Agenda.
The ministry has also developed a framework to strengthen economic diplomacy that serves financing development and, at the same time, allows public and private stakeholders to work together, according to Al-Mashat.
She added that to dedicate development financing towards Goal 3 for good health and wellbeing in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry managed to sign agreements worth a total of $477 million.
The World Bank (WB) provided Egypt with $450 million in support of the COVID-19 Emergency Response under its fast-track facility to strengthen and support Egypt’s transformational Universal Health Insurance System.
The WB also provided additional financing of $500 million to support Egypt’s ongoing efforts to improve the affordability of formal housing for low income households in Egypt and strengthen the capacity of Egypt’s social housing and mortgage finance fund.
The US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the ministries of international cooperation and social solidarity launched an initiative worth $3.2 million to support the Egyptian Red Crescent’s (ERC) network of 30,000 volunteers and healthcare professionals to conduct community outreach and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as well as build the ERC’s capacity to respond to future crises.
The Ministry of International Cooperation also inked seven agreements with USAID worth $112 million to support Egypt’s health, higher education, and scientific research, while the US provided 250 ventilators (worth approx. $8 million) that were spread across different hospitals to help treat COVID-19 patients.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) also financed projects during 2020 worth €1.7 billion, including the Development and Modernisation of the Western Sewage Treatment Plant in Alexandria project.
The year 2020 also witnessed the signing of two agreements within the third phase of the Egyptian-Italian debt swap programme for development, including an agreement for the Social Welfare development project in Luxor worth EGP 42 million, which is implemented in partnership with the World Food programme and aims to provide an integrated package of development to support the most vulnerable families in Luxor.
The ministry also managed to ink agreements worth $134.2 million to build resilient infrastructure and promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation (Goal 9).
This included $141.7 million for the Egyptian National Railways restructuring project, $111.2 million for the rehabilitation of Cairo Metro Line 2, $326.8 million for the Egyptian National Railroad Locomotive Renewal programme, and $1 million for renovating locomotives and railway freight, and all of these facilities are provided through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
The EBRD also signed with the ministry the feasibility study for the Cairo Metro Line 2 with a total amount of €1.2 million.
Furthermore, agreements were signed with the Agence Française de Développement, totalling €200 million in order to finance, develop and modernise the first line of the Cairo metro.
On the other hand, the ministry reached agreements worth total of $425 million to ensure access to affordable and modern energy for all, as well as $200 million for climate action.
The facilities under these agreements were extended under the Egyptian Danish Energy Partnership Program (2019-2022) agreement and WB’s initiatives in this regard.
To achieve the targets of Goal 8 for decent work and economic growth, the ministry succeeded in concluding agreements worth over $270 million to boost the private sector through direct financing for SMEs through commercial banks.
The agreements were inked with the EIB, the Egyptian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, and the French Development Agency.