Mon, 02 Aug 2021 - 03:12 GMT
Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat - Press Photo
CAIRO – 2 August 2021: Egypt’s multilateral and bilateral development partners channeled development financing worth $1.4 billion into 32 projects in 95 locations across all of the state’s governorates to enhance the health sector, improve services provided to citizens, and implement SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, according to the Ministry of International Cooperation revealed.
According to the ODA-SDG map, 18 development partners provided funds worth $1.4 billion, representing 5.6 percent of the current financing portfolio. The amount of funding reflects how the health sector is highly prioritized by the Egyptian government that strives to improve healthcare services especially against the backdrop of the increasing global interest in the health sector following the Covid-19 pandemic.
The financing directed to SDG 3 also contributes to other SDGs, such as SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 4: Quality Education; SDG 5: Gender Equality; SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation; and SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities.
The multilateral development partners who contributed to the provision of these funds are: the World Bank; the European Union (EU); the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD); the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction (EBRD); the World Health Organization (WHO); the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the World Food Program (WFP); and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). These in addition to bilateral development partners, namely Germany, the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), France, Switzerland, the United States of America, Canada, Italy, and Japan.
Projects in Depth
The statement issued by the Ministry of International Cooperation indicates that the development funds concluded with development partners contribute to the implementation of numerous vital projects in the health sector. For instance, the financing from the World Bank amounted to $530 million to develop the health system, improve the quality of health care services and manage the demand for health services and family planning. The funding also serves the “100 Million Healthy Lives” campaign to combat hepatitis C, which will improve the health service and keep it in line with international standards, especially with the implementation of the comprehensive health insurance system in Egypt.
The Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) also provided $22.7 million to finance the establishment of basic health care units to support all citizens through an integrated health care system that encompasses better services, improved public hospitals, and inclusive health insurance.
In addition, there is the “Developing Kasr Al-Ainy Hospital” project, funded by the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) and implemented by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, with a value of $120 million to upgrade the infrastructure of Al-Kasr Al-Ainy Hospital and improve the level of educational and training services provided.
Another project worthy to mention within the SDG 3’s list of intervention is the “The Kitchener Drain Solid Waste Project”, with financing worth $104 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The project is allocated to the Ministry of Local Development in order to protect the public’s health through upgrading the drain and improving the health and environmental conditions of concerned residents. The project is designed to reduce pollution in the drain; construct a modern structure in cooperation with top international expertise; collect and treat domestic sewage; manage solid waste; and rehabilitate the drain’s infrastructure.
The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD) further dedicated $9.9 million to finance another project: “Improving National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute”, with the aim of enhancing the health of a wide segment of citizens by developing and providing medical and specialized services to diagnose and treat liver diseases in different stages. Moreover, it targets the development of local technical and administrative capabilities to combat such diseases, reduce mortality rates, alleviate the suffering of those affected, and mitigate the adverse effects of these diseases on the Egyptian economy.
Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, explained that within the framework of the Ministry's keenness to consolidate the principles of transparency and governance and enhance communication with the people, the ODA-SDG map, in light of the second principle of economic diplomacy, allowed citizens and development partners to view the details of all projects implemented across Egypt’s governorates in various sectors. Projects are grouped according to their locations and the relevant SDGs they serve.
Al-Mashat stressed that the map enables Egypt to fulfill its development priorities by identifying what has been implemented and, consequently, pinpointing the gaps so as to direct future partnerships towards bridging these gaps. The map promotes transparent and effective communication with stakeholders and citizens to learn about the national development efforts made through international partnerships.
In June, Al-Mashat, in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE), launched her book titled "Stakeholder Engagement Through Economic Diplomacy", along with the launch of the Ministry's website ODA-SDG map in an international event attended by eminent international economic figures and institutions. The book documents Egypt’s pioneering experience in international cooperation and development finance, crafting a model for other emerging and developing countries.