By Menna Zaki
Minister of Planning Ashraf El-Araby signed an agreement with the Italian Ambassador in Egypt Tuesday to finance a €1m social and economic development project on Egypt’s north coast, according to a ministry statement.
The project aims to rehabilitate and develop agricultural methods and resources in Matruh governorate, as well as establish small businesses related to cultivation.
Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari said the project is part of a €27m cooperation framework negotiated by the European Union to develop rural parts of Fayoum, Minya and Matruh governorates.
Massari said €10m will be granted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation to develop the agriculture industry in Minya and Fayoum.
El-Araby also met Tuesday with Anita Nirody, resident coordinator for the United Nations, to discuss progress on the UN Development Assistance Framework, a strategic roadmap developed by Egypt and the UN to address key development issues, including poverty, democratic governance, food security, and environmental sustainability.
The framework is to be implemented during 2013-2017 and will help Egypt achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, a set of eight targets established in 2000 to galvanise global efforts to reduce poverty, and improve health and education.
UNDAF aims to restore the confidence of the citizens in the Egyptian state, according to a statement released Tuesday.
Egypt suffers from various areas of deficit including: poverty and hunger, unemployment, gender disparities, and access to improved sanitation and facilities, according to a 2010 evaluation of the country’s progress on the Millennium Development Goals. The report argues that the country’s most challenging goal is to reduce the number of people living under the poverty line.