The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Japanese government have granted Egypt $2.73m to address the socio-economic impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The financial grant comes as part of a UNDP and Japanese project to expand their strategic partnership to support Egypt’s inclusive and multi-sector crisis management and response.
In a meeting held on Tuesday, the partners discussed the next steps for the project, titled “Supporting an Inclusive and Multi-Sectoral Response to COVID-19 and Addressing its Socio-Economic Impact in Egypt”.
The new project will focus on supporting national and sub-national capacities for planning, coordination and crisis management. It will also address the socio-economic impacts of the global pandemic, particularly on micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and vulnerable groups.
As many as 3.7m MSMEs, especially in Egypt’s retail and handicraft sectors, will benefit from financial support through the project, and will be able to digitise and improve their market reach through e-commerce.
The meeting was attended by Japan’s Ambassador to Egypt Masaki Noke, Deputy Minister of Planning and Economic Development Dr Ahmed Kamaly, UNDP Egypt Resident Representative Randa Aboul-Hosn, and Director of International Cooperation at Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lamia Mekhemar, as well as senior representatives from the Ministry of International Cooperation among others.
“Thanks to the generosity of Japan, we are delighted to work closely with the Embassy of Japan to support Egypt’s efforts to respond and recover from COVID-19,” said Aboul-Hosn, “Millions of people and vulnerable households are affected by the socio-economic shocks resulting from the pandemic.”
Ambassador Noke added, “The pandemic is a human security crisis, posing threat to not only the health and lives, but also the dignity, of individuals. We need an inclusive response based on the human security philosophy, focusing on the protection and empowerment of each person, leaving nobody behind, especially the most vulnerable.”
He added that international solidarity is indispensable, but that Japan will continue working closely with the Egyptian government and the UNDP.
As the UN’s lead agency on socio-economic impact and recovery, the UNDP provides the technical lead in the global organisation’s socio-economic recovery efforts. It supports the overall coordination role of the Resident Coordinators, with UN teams working as one across all aspects of the response.