Egypt’s Ministry of International Cooperation secured $477m in development financing through 7 agreements supporting the healthcare sector, according to the ministry’s 2020 annual report.
The report, entitled “International Partnerships for Sustainable Development”, said that the agreements were made with the country’s development partners. These include: the World Bank; the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development (AFESD); the US Agency for International Development (USAID); the African Development Bank (AfDB); as well as Japan and Canada.
The World Bank provided a total of $50m to Egypt as an emergency response under the World Bank Group’s “Fast Track COVID-19 Facility”. This focused on providing an immediate and critical response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic through the distribution of equipment and supplies.
It also saw: training for health workers; provided support for operations in quarantine and treatment centres; the mobilisation of rapid response teams; developing contextualised messaging platforms and tools to improve public awareness; and innovating monitoring and evaluation of social distancing strategies, including community mobilisation.
Other notable examples of international development partner funding include the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) providing $17m for Egypt to purchase medical and protective equipment.
Japan provided a $9.4m grant that went to purchasing devices and medical supplies for hospitals.
The AFESD also provided $3.2m in development financing to Egypt in supporting the healthcare sector in combating COVID-19.
“Investment in the health care sector is of utmost urgency and priority in every development agenda worldwide, even more so in light of COVID-19,” said Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat, “This year has shown us how a health shock can transcend and impact the world socioeconomically in various ways.”
Egypt has set up 36 projects making up for $1.443bn in funding, accounting for 5.62% of the total ODA, as per the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3, covering Good Health and Well Being.
However, health goes hand-in-hand with other SDGs as well, such as: SDG 1 which accounts for No Poverty; and SDG 5 covering Gender Equality. This ensures that low-income families have good health-care access, whilst also ensuring that women have the health support they need.
The Ministry of International Cooperation, along with the US Government through USAID, the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC) signed an agreement, on 8 June, worth $3.2m.
The agreement puts into place a new initiative supporting the ERC’s network of 30,000 volunteers and health professionals. The initiative brought together all key stakeholders, including civil society and the private sector to work on addressing market needs. These, in turn, helped contribute to Egypt’s social development and economic growth.
In light of the importance of women’s sexual and reproductive health services, Canada directed $3.5m through a grant to raise awareness on family planning.
The ‘Addressing Gaps in Reproductive Health and Rights in Egypt’ project, implemented by the United Nations Population Fund, will include means to purchase contraceptives, develop distribution in targeted areas, and incorporate family planning in the educational system.