Mon, 01 Nov 2021 - 01:55 GMT
Mon, 01 Nov 2021 - 01:55 GMT
CAIRO – 1 November 2021: Egypt signed seven development financing grant agreements with the United States of America through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), worth $125 million, Minister of International Cooperation Rania A. Al-Mashat announced Monday.
Al-Mashat clarified that these agreements come within the framework of the joint economic relations between Egypt and the United States of America, which strengthens efforts of development cooperation to support Egypt’s development vision across various sectors. This took place with the participation of the US Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen; and the Mission Director of the USAID Egypt, Leslie Reed.
This comes within the framework of the strategic and historic relations between Egypt and the United States of America, and in light of the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts to develop joint economic relations between Egypt and its bilateral and multilateral development partners, in a way that supports the national efforts to achieve Egypt’s Vision 2030, which also aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
During her speech, Minister Al-Mashat highlighted the depth and significance of the bilateral relations between Egypt and the United States across various sectors; referring to the seven agreements’ role in stimulating the government’s efforts in developing the sectors of basic education, higher education, science and technology, agriculture, health, economic governance, trade and investment, in addition to $5 million allocated for combating the repercussions of the coronavirus.
The signed agreements allocate $17 million to the sector of basic education; $31 million to the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI); $4 million to U.S-Egyptian cooperation in the sector of science and technology; $27 million to economic governance; $5 million to agriculture and rural development; and $28 million to bolstering trade and investment in Egypt.
Al-Mashat further elaborated that the strategic partnership with the USA integrates with the national efforts of developing various sectors to achieve social and economic development referring to the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” that was launched by Ministry of International Cooperation, the National Council for Women (NCW), and the World Economic Forum (WEF), which is the first unique public-private collaboration model in Africa and the Middle East that works towards taking decisive action on closing economic gender gaps. The Ministry is currently designing a new program with USAID to ensure women economic and social empowerment, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, within the framework of “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator”, and in order to improve the work environment for women in the private sector economy, as well as to expand women’s financial inclusion.
She further noted that the partnership with the USAID pushes forward the private sector’s engagement in development and stimulates its role across various sectors, through supporting SMEs, and encouraging entrepreneurship, under the umbrella of the “Trade and Investment Promotion in Egypt” Agreement.
The Minister affirmed that Egypt is in the position to lead the region’s green transformation and climate action, through transitioning towards renewable energy; diversifying energy resources; implementing climate-friendly projects; and expanding creative financing tools to stimulate climate action. This is in addition to highlighting the continuous coordination between the Ministry of International Cooperation and the Ministry of Environment and other stakeholders to strengthen the process of combating climate change through consolidating international partnerships; noting that there is room for expanding future partnership between all development partners, including the USAID.
For his part, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Jonathan Cohen said, “I am pleased to announce $125 million in economic assistance from the United States to Egypt. This is part of the U.S. Government’s $30 billion investment in Egypt over the last 40 years, which has brought clean water and wastewater services to 25 million Egyptians, eliminated polio, built 2,000 schools, and provided 4,000 university scholarships.”
USAID Mission Director, Leslie Reed stated that the seven agreements being celebrated reinforce the strategic partnership between the United States and Egypt, and the tremendous impact that the joint efforts have on Egypt’s people.
Reed further thanked the Ministry of International Cooperation and all the “valued partners throughout the government of Egypt.”
“I look forward to the successes that will be achieved through these agreements,” she added.
Since 2014, the cooperation portfolio with the USAID had reached about $900 million in implementing priority projects in education, higher education, governance, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), tourism, agriculture and private sector. The total development cooperation portfolio between Egypt and the USA since 1978, amounts to over $30 billion covering various sectors that represent development priorities for the Government of Egypt.