Cairo – Mubasher: Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania El-Mashat, met with Ted Chaiban, Regional Director of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) for the Middle East and North Africa, at the Ministry's headquarters to expand areas of cooperation within the strategic framework of the partnership with the United Nations 2018-2022 amid the COVID-19 and support children and youth to become more economically and socially empowered.
El-Mashat noted that UNICEF plays an important role in advancing the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that are in line with the government’s 2030 national agenda, which are committed to supporting the third goal for health and well-being, the fifth goal for gender equality, and the fourth goal for quality education, adding that the organisation’s funds for cooperation programmes are worth $103 million during the period 2018-2020 in several important areas, including the social and health protection for children and women and the provision of educational opportunities over the past two years, which came within the strategic framework of the partnership with the UN that extends until 2022, according to a statement on Sunday.
She added that UNICEF implemented many joint cooperation programmes with the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as supporting the government's plans to successfully complete school-year-end examinations in governorates of Minya and Fayoum through providing all the necessary preventive measures, reflecting the spirit of solidarity and strong partnership between the two partners.
The minister affirmed that the Ministry seeks to deepen and expand levels of cooperation with UNICEF amid the COVID-19 pandemic to identify priority sector and directly design frameworks that will help meet the needs of the population in preparation of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This cooperation will come under the ministry’s efforts to strengthen the ‘Global Partnerships for Effective Development’ through the principles of economic diplomacy. These principles include regularly organising multi-stakeholder platforms to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively coordinated; adopting a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative People & Projects & Purpose (P&P&P) to raise public awareness on on-ground efforts; and mapping ODA financing to SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners.
For his part, Ted Chaiban, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, praised the Ministry of International Cooperation’s efforts to strengthen coordination and work with government agencies in Egypt to implement development cooperation programmes that are directly in line with the 17 SDGs, and asserted that it is looking forward for more cooperation to serve more lives amid the pandemic.
Last June, El-Mashat met Bruno Maes, UNICEF Representative in Egypt, and announced that the organisation would provide about $17 million to support the Egyptian government's efforts in child protection and women's empowerment amid the COVID-pandemic.
The cooperation between Egypt and UNICEF comes within the United Nations Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF) 2018-2022 worth $210.9 million to support children and youth and promote the economic and social empowerment of women.
The Ministry of International Cooperation supervises the implementation of the UNPDF 2018-2022 and chairs the Steering Committee for the framework with the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Egypt, which is composed of four outcomes: inclusive economic development, social justice, environmental sustainability and natural resource management, and women's empowerment.