The Minister of International Cooperation H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat met with the Regional Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Dina Saleh, within the framework of the periodic meetings with multilateral and bilateral development partners to enhance the national development vision, and discuss the ongoing development cooperation portfolio to advance agricultural rural development efforts.
The meeting followed up on the position of the projects that fall within the food pillar of the Nexus for Water, Food and Energy platform, the NWFE program, in the presence of the Country Director of the Egypt Office of the International Fund for Agricultural Development Mohamed Abdelgadir, and Mohamed Abdel-Gawad, Head of the Multilateral Cooperation Sector with the UN and the International Financial Institutions Sector at the Ministry of International Cooperation.
Al-Mashat stressed the close and long-term relationship between Egypt and all UN agencies, bodies and programs, based on the Government of Egypt’s keenness to advance joint relations with multilateral and bilateral development partners, referring to the vital role played by the IFAD in the cooperation with national authorities to promote agricultural and rural development through various development programmes.
H.E. stated that Egypt is looking forward to expanding the scope of cooperation with the IFAD to enhance the ability of small farmers to adapt to climate changes and improve the conditions of rural communities, especially through the presidential initiative for rural development “Haya Karima”, where the government aims to reduce the gap between urban and rural communities and improve the standard of living.
Al-Mashat referred to cooperation with the IFAD during COP27, in preparing the “Sharm El-Sheikh Guidebook for Just Financing”, which stimulates just climate financing, as well as cooperation in the NWFE program, where the IFAD is a lead development partner for the food pillar. In this regard, H.E. discussed with representatives of the delegation efforts to mobilize development grants and stimulate investments for the private sector necessary to implement the projects of the program.
H.E. applauded the continuous communication between the technical teams from the Ministry, the IFAD, and the national entities, to expedite the implementation of projects included in the food pillar within the NWFE program, in a way that stimulates the country’s ability to improve resistance to climate changes, modernize agricultural practices, and develop irrigation in old agricultural lands—raising the productivity of farmers, increasing income from crops, increasing the efficiency of the irrigation system, as well as enhancing food and water security.
The food pillar within the NWFE program features projects at a total investment cost of $3.3 billion, aiming to enhance adaptability and flexibility in agricultural lands, support farmers to adopt smart practices and achieve economic benefits associated with increasing crop productivity and price stability, modernize irrigation systems and increasing efficiency, pay back to human development efforts, increase efforts to enable rainwater, improve access to water, enhance resilience in areas most in need, and improve the resilience of the agricultural climate by modernizing agricultural practices.
The meeting witnessed a discussion of the portfolio of ongoing projects, including the Sustainable Agricultural Investments and Livelihoods (SAIL) project, which enhances development efforts to reduce poverty and increase food security and work on making small farmers able to increase their income and improve their profitability, as well as the project for Sustainable Transformation for Agricultural Resilience in Upper Egypt (STAR), which aims to contribute to improving the living standards of the targeted groups in the governorates of Minya, Assiut and Sohag, by supporting these groups to develop the ability to face future water scarcity and climate risks through the increasing adoption and adoption of effective production and irrigation techniques, as well as improving productivity and quality of different products.
Moreover, the meeting also looked into the vital role played by the private sector in stimulating sustainable development efforts. Al-Mashat noted the Ministry’s keenness to stimulate the participation of the private sector through innovative solutions and development cooperation projects to advance development efforts and accelerate the implementation of the 2030 SDGs.
It is worth noting that Egypt has extended relations with the IFAD over a period of 40 years, as the total development cooperation portfolio with the IFAD amounts to about $1.1 billion, contributed to financing 14 projects with the participation of a number of development partners and is funded by about $520 million. These projects contributed to sustainable agricultural development and raised the level of income for small farmers.