The project will also ensure safe storage and effective delivery of vaccines with a total Japanese fund worth $3.5 million.
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar witnessed the signing.
The project aims to address gaps in the logistics performance and storage capacity of Egypt’s health system amid the scale-up of COVID-19 vaccinations, in addition to establishing effective cold chain systems at 500 vaccination sites, securing vaccines during storage and transportation, as well as training at least 2,000 medical staff, according to the Ministry of International Cooperation.
As per Egypt’s vaccination campaign, which aims to vaccinate 70 million people by the end of 2022 — including refugees, migrants, asylum seekers, and foreign residents — the project is expected to launch a social mobilisation campaign to ensure the acceptance and uptake of COVID-19 vaccination through RapidPro SMS messaging and a social media campaign that is projected to reach around five million people on social media, according to the ministry.
Furthermore, Al-Mashat highlighted Egypt’s country-led multi-stakeholder engagement framework to step up collaboration with ministries and development partners and strengthen technical cooperation on health objectives to promote mutual learning between countries and partners.
The project falls under the strategic partnership framework between Egypt and the United Nations for 2018-22, and a new strategic partnership framework for 2023-27 is currently being developed for path-breaking achievements in sustainable development, according to Al-Mashat.
For his part, Japan’s Ambassador to Cairo Oka Hiroshi reaffirmed the fruitful and long term partnership between the Japanese and Egyptian governments, expressing Japan’s keenness to strengthen technical cooperation with Egypt amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is worth noting that development cooperation agreements that were signed in 2021 for the health sector in Egypt totalled $600 million secured from development partners, including the French Development Agency, the US, and the EU.
The portfolio of cooperation between Egypt and Japan, which began in 1954, amounts to about $2.8 billion across 14 projects in diverse sectors, including health, electricity, transportation, navigation, education, higher education, and irrigation.