During the 46th Session of the Governing Council of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in Rome, Italy, Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat held a number of bilateral meetings with the senior management of the fund, along with many other development partners and government officials to discuss ways to enhance joint cooperation and stimulate food security efforts in Egypt.
Al-Mashat met with Alvaro Lario, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where the meeting emphasized the close and extended cooperation and strong partnership between the Government of Egypt and the IFAD in order to promote rural and agricultural development, improve the standard of living of small farmers and enhance their ability to Adaptation to climate change, pointing out that over the course of 40 years, the fund has funded 14 projects worth $1.1 billion that have had a significant impact on small farmers.
Al-Mashat stated that the strategic partnership with IFAD is currently reflected in strengthening joint work to implement the Nexus for Water, Food, and Energy platform (NWFE Program) to support the national development vision, SDGs and the promotion of climate action, pointing out that Egypt is looking forward to expanding cooperation with the IFAD to direct more support to small farmers and improve the lives of rural communities through development projects.
She pointed to the ongoing work between the technical teams from the Ministry of International Cooperation, national entities and the IFAD to effectively implement the food pillar projects within the NWFE platform, especially supporting the state’s efforts in modernizing agricultural irrigation systems and enhancing crop productivity, increasing the efficiency of water resources use, and supporting food and water security at the state level.
In the same context, the Minister met Donal Brown, IFAD Associate Vice-President of the in a meeting with Dina Saleh, the Regional Director of the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division (NEN) in IFAD, and Mohamed A. Gawad, Head of the Sector of International Multilateral Institutions at the Ministry of International Cooperation.
They discussed the implementation of the development cooperation portfolio with IFAD and the progress made on the implementation of the key projects of food security and water in the NWFE platform, where the Minister stressed the importance of the political leadership and leadership of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to continue to promote the ongoing transformation of projects in Egypt. Moreover, they discussed the replicability of the NWFE Program and importance of South-South Cooperation in implementing successful projects, as well as the need for private sector engagement in development.
Al-Mashat met with Indira Naidoo, Director of the Independent Evaluation Office and Head of Training at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), where they discussed Egypt’s leading experience in the field of evaluations and follow-up of IFAD projects, which represents an area for cooperation and exchange of experience with other countries and institutions, as well as a catalyst for further joint work and expansion of relations between Egypt and the fund.
The meeting also included discussions of work and details of the upcoming mission of the Independent Evaluation Office, which is preparing to conduct an evaluation on knowledge management within the IFAD, with the aim of discussing how the organization can benefit from its knowledge base in practice and how this has been supported through strategies and institutional structures at the level of 20 countries, including Egypt, which is scheduled to be during March 2023.
Al-Mashat met with QU Dongyu, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and expressed her appreciation for the existing cooperation between the Government of Egypt and the UN and their eagerness to consolidate cooperation to expand food security efforts further and enhance the exchange of experience and trade among the countries of the South.
She reviewed the government’s priorities and initiatives to enhance food security efforts, especially through the NWFE Program, the link between water, food and energy projects, along with the presidential initiative for integrated development of the Egyptian countryside “Decent Life”.
She also held a lot of another meetings with different including, Menghestab Haile, WFP Regional Director for Southern Africa, Edmund Cirielli, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Gabriel Ferrero, Chairman of the Committee of World Food Security, Aly Coulibaly, Ambassador to FAO, IFAD and WFP, and Seydou Cissé, and Ambassador of the State of Côte d’Ivoire to FAO, where they discussed enhancing the cooperation.