COVID-19 prompts social safety nets’ reforms: Al-Mashat

Hagar Omran
2 Min Read

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has prompted a range of social safety nets and structural reforms to be implemented, according to Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.

The new measures include protecting irregular employment and activating a financial inclusion system such as the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) is undertaking, Minister Al-Mashat said. 

The minister’s comments came during her participation in a video conference seminar organised by the Washington-based Middle East Institute (MEI).

Measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 should not disrupt the intended end-results of development efforts, especially when it comes to achieving the United Nations goals for sustainable development (SDGs), Minister Al-Mashat said.

International coordination has a pivotal role in combating the coronavirus crisis, she added. The minister said that many governments, international institutions and research centres are seeking to analyse the policies and procedures required to enrich constructive interaction.

During the digital seminar, she presented a new vision with international partners focusing on three main pillars. These cover “The citizen is the focus of attention”, “Ongoing projects” and “The goal is the driving force”. With these three pillars on board, the minister aimed to highlight the development partnership role in achieving sustainable development, which remains a priority across all sectors.

Minister Al-Mashat highlighted her ministry’s enthusiasm for the current and future development financing portfolio on achieving these goals locally and internationally.

MEI president Paul Salem praised the Egyptian government’s measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus, indicating that this crisis should be a landmark incentive for regional cooperation.

Lower oil and gas prices will help factories in Egypt increase production, Jean-François Seznec, non- resident scholar at MEI mentioned, noting that Egypt enjoys enough amounts of natural gas.

Private sector has a vital role limiting economic impacts of COVID-19 in number of countries in Middle East region, May Nasrallah, Chairperson and Founder at deNovo Corporate Advisors, asserted.

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