Egypt’s parliament approves $92.5m grant agreements to support Cairo Metro, higher education, gender equality

Doaa A.Moneim , Sunday 23 Aug 2020

The approvals follow decrees issued by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, with the grants helping to support Egypt’s efforts to achieve key UN Sustainable Development Goals

Ranial Al Mashat
Egypt’s House of Representatives has approved three decisions taken by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi related to international agreements signed by the Ministry of International Cooperation with development partners, which in total amount to $92.5 million, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat announced.
The approvals cover presidential decree No 409 of 2020, approving the agreement between Egypt and the French Development Agency to renew and develop Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, presidential decree No 455 of 2020 approving an aid grant agreement between the government of Egypt and the United States regarding the Egyptian-American Higher Education Initiative, as well as presidential decree No 362 of 2020 approving a Canadian grant to close gaps in sexual and reproductive health rights.
The first agreement comes within the framework of the “Global Partnerships for Effective Development Cooperation” multi-stakeholder platform launched in April 2020, which aims to strengthen partnerships to accelerate progress in development and create real impact on citizen's lives. The partnerships include the contribution of the French Development Agency, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) in the financing of the project implemented by the National Authority for Tunnels, according to Al-Mashat.
“As the population is constantly increasing, and there is a greater need to create more job opportunities and bring prosperity through resilient and upgraded infrastructure, the project aims to rehabilitate and modernise Line 1 of the Cairo Metro, which extends from the new Al-Marg Station in the north to Helwan Station in the south, linking it to the second and third lines of the subway,” Al-Mashat stated.
Al-Mashat noted that this agreement contributes to the achievement of four Sustainable Development Goals; namely, Goal 8 for dignified work; Goal 9 for industry, innovation and infrastructure; Goal 11 for sustainable cities and societies; and Goal 17 related to partnerships for the achievement of these goals.
Under the aid grant agreement between Egypt and the United States for the Egyptian-American Higher Education Initiative, Al-Mashat said that $30 million will be directed towards developing higher education to create an educated workforce that meets the needs of the labour market and to strengthen the capacity of Egyptian higher education institutions.
As for the Canadian grant, to close gaps in reproductive health and rights in Egypt, Al-Mashat said that the grant comes with support from the UN Population Fund under the name "Addressing gaps in reproductive health and rights in Egypt," aiming to support women’s reproductive and health rights by increasing their awareness on family planning and increase their access to health services. 
The agreement is worth 14 million Canadian dollars, and is implemented in partnership with the ministries of health and population and youth and sports.
Al-Mashat added that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to enhance and advance economic diplomacy, which aims playing a proactive role in seeking out development opportunities and strengthening the means of implementation and partnership for sustainable development. 
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