Egypt, UN review 2020 achievements, discuss upcoming development cooperation plans
30 May 2021
Despite COVID-19 challenges, UN and Egypt government committed to progress with development plans and support a better recovery.
The National Joint Steering Committee responsible for overseeing the implementation of the United National Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF 2018-2022) met on Sunday to review 2020 achievements against national development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals and to discuss upcoming development cooperation plans.
Held at the premises of the Ministry of International Cooperation, the meeting was convened by H.E. Dr. Rania El-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation and Ms. Elena Panova, UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt who together co-chaired this group meeting to review the UN’s contribution during 2020 to sustainable development in both the COVID-19 response as well as across the pillars of the UNPDF: Economic Inclusive Growth ‘Prosperity’, Social Justice “People”, Environmental Sustainability and Natural Resource Management “Planet” and Women's Empowerment “Women”.
Despite the challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020, the UN system in Egypt in collaboration with the Government of Egypt (GoE) were committed to progress with their development plan with the aim of advancing and accelerating their commitments towards the achievement of the the sustainable development goals within Egypt’s Vision 2030 and acted swiftly to readjust the joint programms to respond to the emergent situation and to support a better recovery.
With a special focus on the ‘Economic Inclusive Growth’pillarthat is co-chaired by the Ministry of Planning and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the UN in Egypt has partnered with the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) to facilitate the provision of financial and capacity building services, launched a national survey about the national Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises MSMEs conducted in collaboration with MSMEDA, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) and established the Dairy Hubs in Al-Gharbia Governorate Project, which executed by ILO in cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation.
On the ‘Social Justice’ pillar that is co-chaired by the Ministry of Social Justice and UNICEF, the UN in Egypt supported the development of the national Action Plan for Ending Violence Against Children and National Child Protection Case Management Standard Operating Procedures (incl. children on the move, protection in emergencies) and the development and implementation of the new Universal Health Insurance Law. Children and their families receiving cash assistance as an alternative to school meals (due to school closures In addition, technical assistance was provided to expand Social Protection Schemes. Targeted interventions addressed migrants and refugees who received nutrition assistance and health services, improving access to fresh water to households , youth and adolescents engaged in youth-led initiatives in their communities, health staff trained through on-line sessions on key topics related to COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) were supplied for front line health workers.
Focusing on the ‘Environmental Sustainability’ pillar co-chaired by the Ministry of Environment and the World Food Programme (WFP) , 2020 witnessed the launch of the National housing strategy, drafted the National urban policy, updated the Sustainable Agriculture Development Strategy (SADS), the revision of the environmental law was supported and the joint UN assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on agriculture, food and nutrition security in Egypt. Multiple programs addressed small holders’ farmers who got trained on climate change adaptation measures. A huge support to the promotion of eco-tourism through the presidential three- year initiative “Live Green” as well as financing projects that works on promoting solar thermal technology in industrial sector. Moreover, there were lot of activities that targted companies to adopt green and circular measures/systems, extended the services of “El Mufeed” digital agriculture and launched of “Our health is our capital” campaign.
And on the ‘Women's Empowerment’ pillar co-chaired by the National Council from Women (NCW), UN Women and International Migration Organization (IOM) , the UN System in Egypt supported wide range of national policies including the development of the National Action Plan of FGM and the drafting process of the National Action Plan on the implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security is being extensively supported. The National Review of Gender Statistics was completed and Line ministries statistical units capacitated on gender sensitization and statistics. The support provided to women through the Women’s Citizenship Initiative, obtaining national identification documents and gain access to services. The development of the Action Plan for the Gender Unit at the Ministry of Manpower. In addition, Knocking Door Campaign on elimination of FGM implemented by the National Council of Women (NCW) was supported . Interventions to advocate for adopting gender inclusive policies in private sector companies was carried out. In addition, women’s financial inclusion programme was launched, a rapid gender assessment on social and health impacts of COVID-19 on women living with HIV and a rapid assessment on the impact of COVID-19 on women receiving microloans were carried out and the maternal health care staff trained through online training workshops on improved quality of HIV testing among pregnant women.
Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, praised the strategic partnership with the United Nations in Egypt, explaining that the United Nations in Egypt and its affiliated agencies and programs have always had a strategic role in supporting the state’s priorities in various fields to enhance national efforts aimed at achieving development, and in 2020 during the Corona pandemic, relations between the United Nations and Egypt witnessed a significant development, as a result of the reorientation of various relevant partnerships in order to meet the requirements and priorities of the country to confront the Corona pandemic.
From her side, Ms. Elena Panova, the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt stated; “we are happy with the strategic and outstanding partnership with the Government of Egypt on delivering together on the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), this commitment enabled us to mobilize USD 192.3 million for the implementation of 2020 UN joint activities in Egypt.” She added; “ the continuous engagement and cooperation between the entire UN system with the Government counterparts in Egypt, development partners, civil society, and all stakeholders is the key behind achieving tangible results in advancing and the sustainable development agenda, Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.”