Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation managed to secure $500 million in finances over the past eight months from international financial institutions in order to support the healthcare sector amid the Covid-19 crisis, the ministry said in a statement Thursday.
Amid the challenges Egypt is facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ministry has been keen on strengthening international collaboration to support both short term crisis response and long-term inclusive and sustainable recovery, according to the statement.
The finances were directed towards the provision of protective equipment, supplies for medical teams and isolation hospitals, strengthening the capacity of the Egyptian Red Crescent, training medical personnel, and improving public awareness of the crisis, according to the statement.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat stated that these efforts came as a result of the forward-looking strategy, the New Global Partnership Narrative, that the ministry has adopted since the onset of the crisis, to prioritise strong cooperation for the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that it is a new vision that focuses on three pillars — namely, People at the Core, Projects in Action, and Purpose as the Driver — amid the push for a human-centered economy.
“Covid-19 should not derail each countries’ efforts in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals … particularly Goal 7 for good health and wellbeing, Goal 17 for partnerships, which focuses on knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation, and Goal 5 for gender equality through empowering women to have equal rights to job opportunities,” Al-Mashat said.
The World Bank’s board of executive directors approved a fund of $400 million to be implemented in six governorates to strengthen Universal Health Insurance System (UHIS)-related governance and institutions and provide temporary financial protection against high out of pocket health expenditures for vulnerable populations.
Al-Mashat also signed an agreement with the World Bank Group worth $50 million as part of the Emergency Response Project to combat the Covid-19 pandemic in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Population.
The ministry also succeeded in reallocating $7.9 million to combat the Covid-19 within the framework of a major agreement signed with the World Bank worth 530 million euros to develop the health sector in Egypt, according to the statement.
Further, Al-Mashat amended an agreement with the French Development Agency for primary healthcare amounting to 15 million euros (equivalent to $17 million) to purchase medical and protective equipment, according to the statement.
An urgent grant of $500,000 was obtained from the African Development Bank's special aid fund to contribute to providing food supplies for the most vulnerable, especially temporary workers, in light of the Covid-19 crisis, according to the statement.
Based on its strong partnership with the United States, USAID provided 250 ventilators to support the capacities of Egyptian hospitals during the pandemic through a grant of around $8 million divided into two tranches: the first tranche includes 100 ventilators, according to the statement.