Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and Acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel Ghaffar witnessed the signing of a grant agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Japanese Embassy in Cairo and UNICEF worth $3.5m.
The grant and MoU will cover the implementation of a project to expand the scope of vaccination against COVID-19 in Egypt within the framework of close cooperation between Egypt and multilateral and bilateral development partners to enhance development efforts and support the state’s plan to respond to the pandemic.
This project aims to ensure effective vaccination by increasing the number of vaccination centres through a number of proposed measures that promote the acceleration of the vaccination process.
In a speech, Al-Mashat stressed the close cooperation between Egypt and development partners to support efforts to combat the coronavirus, explaining that since the beginning of the pandemic, the Ministry of International Cooperation began to strengthen discussions with all development partners to support the efforts of the health sector in Egypt by providing vaccines and protective equipment.
Al-Mashat pointed out that these agreements come within the framework of the ministry’s vision to place the citizen at the centre of attention.
Furthermore, the ongoing projects and the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDGs) are the driving force, as this project enhances the implementation of the third, 10th, and 11th SDGs, which are good health and well-being; reducing inequalities; and peace, justice, and strong institutions; respectively.
She explained that cooperation with the Japanese side varies in many fields, including the health sector, and in 2021, a project to amend a grant was signed to establish the outpatient clinic building of the Abu Al-Rish Japanese University Hospital for Paediatric Treatment with $19m.
For his part, Abdel Ghaffar pointed to the importance of this tripartite agreement between Egypt, Japan, and the UNICEF in strengthening the state’s plan to combat the pandemic by establishing effective cooling systems in 500 vaccination sites, securing vaccines during storage and transportation, and training medical 2,000 employees of the health ministry, in addition to urging citizens to get vaccinated through social media platforms.
Furthermore, Oka Hiroshi, the Japanese Ambassador to Cairo, explained that $3.9m will be provided to expand access to vaccines through this agreement.
He also reaffirmed the Japanese government’s keenness to support Egypt’s efforts to strengthen the health care sector, given that a grant of $9.5m was provided previously, in addition to an agreement worth about $230m in the framework of developing the sector and improving the response to the pandemic in Egypt.