Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat held on Wednesday a virtual meeting with Leslie Reed, Mission Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in Egypt, to discuss expanding the economic cooperation strategy between Egypt and the US during the next five years (2021-2025).
During the meeting, the two sides discussed projects funded by the USAID in Egypt, as well as Egyptian efforts to achieve women's economic empowerment and close the gender gap in the labour market, referring to the ministry of international cooperation’s effort with the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum to launch the ‘Gender Gap Accelerator’.
The 'Gender Gap Accelerator' is a platform that brings together the public and private sectors to work on setting the necessary policies in order to achieve women's empowerment in addition to the role of the US in advancing this strategy through joint programs with USAID.
Al-Mashat underscored the strength of the economic partnership extending for more than 40 years with the US, referring to the support provided to Egypt amid the pandemic, which resulted in signing seven agreements worth $112.5 million in various sectors, especially that of health, higher education and scientific research.
The minister also referred to Egypt’s progress in infrastructure and building new cities, as it launched several major development projects such as the new Administrative Capital, new Alamein, Galala and other vital projects in all sectors. These projects helped by contributing to the employment of about two million Egyptian workers.
Moreover, Al-Mashat highlighted Egypt's keen interest in green financing, as it succeeded in offering the first green bonds in the Middle East and North Africa worth $750 million to finance projects that take into account environmental concerns and achieve the targets of Goal 13 for Climate Action.
The strategic relationship between Egypt and USAID dates back to 1978, worth more than $30 billion in various sectors that reflect Egypt’s development priorities, including health, population, education, and employment, while the ongoing cooperation portfolio amounts to about $1 billion in agriculture, basic education, higher education, health and tourism, in addition to other important sectors such as trade, investment, water and sanitation, small and medium enterprises as well as women's empowerment.