Egypt launches strategy to protect sustainable development goals against coronavirus outbreak

Ahram Online , Sunday 5 Apr 2020

The presentation took place during the videoconference meeting chaired by Minister Dr. Rania Al-Mashat with more than 100 professionals representing heads of country offices, development professionals from bilateral partners as well as multilateral development organizations

Measures being taken to soften the impact of the novel coronavirus should not derail development efforts or hold back the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat said.

The remarks, made during a meeting held by video with 100 representatives of global and regional funding bodies, came after the United Nations expressed fears over the impact of the coronavirus crisis on efforts to achieve its 17 sustainable development goals, known as SDGs.

During the meeting, attended by representatives from the World Bank Group and the IMF, Al-Mashat proposed a three-pronged strategy defining cooperation between Egypt and international financing bodies focusing on people, projects and purpose, the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

The 'New Global Partnerships Narrative' will be based on three major planks: People At The Core, Projects in Action, and Purpose As The Driver, Al-Mashat said.

The minister highlighted Egypt’s efforts to promote structural reforms and financial inclusion and boost economic growth to achieve sustainable development goals.

Egypt has sought to foster partnerships with the private sector to provide support to improve the country’s human resources, she said.

“Every partnership identifies existing gaps and provides multi-sectoral assistance to millions of beneficiaries through public-private partnerships that help Egyptians unlock their full potential," the minister said.

The country has carried out a number of projects across multiple sectors including renewable energy, water desalination, transport and education to respond to achieving the UN goals, which were first adopted in 2015.

Purpose-focus partnership, meanwhile, has been key in the country’s efforts to achieve inclusive growth and sustainable development, she said.

“Purpose in our projects serves important strategic roles, defining our playing field through collaboration with our multilateral and bilateral partners, and allowing us to shape our growth potential," according to Al Mashat.

UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt Richard Dictus affirmed his organisation’s strong commitment to working together with Egypt to achieve its development goals.

Global Partners Support Egypt’s Priorities

Also during the video meeting, Al-Mashat discussed the results of a recent survey by the UN’s Global Partnership for Effective Development

Cooperation (GPEDC) which showed a 73 percent alignment of development partners to Egypt’s priorities and a level of predictability of development cooperation at 90 percent.

“Egypt has shown progress in most GPEDC indices yet there is an opportunity for further improvement to maximize the effectiveness of development cooperation by stimulating medium-term predictability of development cooperation,” Al-Mashat said.

Malinne Blomberg, Country Manager at African Development Bank Group, said Egypt “continues to show its resilience in the face of global adversity through the government’s rapid and solid actions,” according to the ministry statement.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is also working to deliver a €1 billion in urgent global solidarity package to firms and banks in Egypt affected by the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Managing Director for southern and eastern Mediterranean Heike

Harmgart said during the meeting.

“We are already working with existing clients across Egypt to understand their needs and support them with working capital, trade finance as well as taking an enabling view to rescheduling existing loans," she said.

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