Egypt and the United Nations’ (UN) office in the country announced the establishment of the roadmap for the strategic partnership framework over four years (2023 to 2027), which aims to support the government of Egypt’s priorities in achieving economic and social development in line with the 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs).
The announcement came during the annual meeting, held virtually on Sunday, of the steering committee for the current partnership development framework (UNPDF) (2008-2022) co-chaired by the Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt Elena Panova.
The roadmap aims to organise the stages of preparing the new framework for the strategic partnership in a practical and elaborate manner and provides a comprehensive vision of the upcoming stages.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat said that the UNPDF is a comprehensive document that regulates cooperation frameworks with UN agencies, supporting Egypt’s efforts and priorities in achieving sustainable development.
The minister added that the Ministry of International Cooperation is responsible for supervising the implementation of this strategic framework with the UN and is the national coordinator of this partnership; it also chairs the UNPDF.
Al-Mashat explained that the UN’s agencies and programmes in Egypt have always had a strategic role in supporting the government's priorities in different sectors in order to enhance the national efforts of achieving sustainable development; adding that in 2020, during the pandemic, the partnership between the UN and Egypt was highly developed, as a result of reorienting the partnership to support Egypt’s home-grown response plan facing the pandemic.
Al-Mashat noted that it is necessary for the new framework to take into account supporting the national efforts to combat climate change and to enhance environmental sustainability, as Egypt has taken several steps forward within this framework and was the first country in the MENA region to issue $750 million in green bonds, in addition to the establishment of a Climate Change Centre for Africa in Egypt.
For her part, the UN’s Panova said that 2020 was an exceptional year on all levels, however the government of Egypt took rapid measures to overcome the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which was positively reflected on the economic gauges, making Egypt the only country in the MENA region and across the globe that kept a positive growth during the pandemic despite recessions in most countries around the world.
She added that the government took several measures that helped spur the country’s positive economic growth, such as the social safety net program ‘Takaful and Karama’.
Panova also expressed her appreciation of the government of Egypt’s issuance of a policy tracker responding to the needs of women during the outbreak of COVID-19, which made Egypt the first country to provide a women-specific response during the pandemic, praising the participation of national authorities in implementing the UN’s plan to recover from the economic and social impacts of the pandemic in Egypt, which is being implemented from July 2020 to December 2021.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the achievements of the joint development projects and initiatives executed in 2020 and discussed the allocated budget for projects planned for the budget year 2021/2022.
The UNPDF focuses on four main pillars, including inclusive economic development, social justice, environmental sustainability and natural resources management, and women’s empowerment.
The planning for the work under the four strategic themes is overseen by four results groups that are also co-chaired by relevant institutions from the UN.
The estimated budget for the implementation of the goals of the UNPDF amounts to $1.2 billion.