Egypt's sovereign wealth fund ranks 43rd among 93 funds globally    IMF in talks over Egypt's request for SBA loan – spokesman    No increase in Egypt's basic commodities' prices – statement    Books about racial discrimination become best-sellers as U.S. protests grow    Facebook to apply state media labels on Russian, Chinese outlets    Twitter disables U.S. President Trump video tribute to Floyd over copyright complaint    U.S. ship back at sea after coronavirus outbreak and captain fired    110 Egyptian hotels now open under new hygiene regulations    Egypt reports 1,152 new coronavirus cases on Thursday – ministry    World needs solidarity to produce coronavirus vaccine: Sisi    Moroccan actor Youssef Kerkour scoops BAFTA nomination    Cairo Airport Museum receives artifacts ahead of planned opening    Olympics: Tokyo exec says must watch virus situation for Games decision, says Kyodo    Egypt 'strongly condemns' terror attack on Kabul mosque    Germany Bundesliga fixtures (30th matchday)    Japan's Dentsu evacuates Tokyo HQ after bomb threat    Bale could finish career at Real Madrid, says agent    Reuters Exclusive: Pompeo to urge stock exchanges globally to tighten rules for Chinese companies    Non-oil imports decrease 21.2% between January and April: CAPMAS    Egypt's Sisi says world needs solidarity to produce coronavirus vaccine    Art van adds a splash of colour to drab Gaza life amid the coronavirus    Trade Minister bans sugar imports for 3 months    Saudi SMEs grant $200m to 2,176 Egyptian projects: International Cooperation Minister    Adel Mahmoud Science Forum kicks off with focus on biosecurity    US prosecutors charge 3 more police officers over George Floyd killing    George Floyd had coronavirus, according to autopsy report    How to keep children entertained and relaxed during quarantine    Libya's GNA says it regains control of capital Tripoli    CAF draws timeline for resumed continental championships amid COVID-19    Al-Sisi, Czech counterpart discuss joint COVID-19 efforts    Hospitals treating COVID-19 patients to increase to 376: Zayed    Egyptian Football star Ahmed Fathy's wife, daughters infected with Coronavirus    TSFE to develop, operate Bab Al-Azab historical area    Sudan urges UN Security Council to encourage GERD parties to refrain from 'unilateral measures'    Misusing the Nile    Egypt's right to water    Culture Ministry discusses preventative measures for resumed activities    Egyptian and Irish theatre challenge the coronavirus    Egypt's Zamalek close to signing Angola's Papel in summer    We Are One: Global film festival launches amid pandemic    Zamalek re-hang ‘Real Club of the Century' billboard after removing CAF logo    Armed Forces neutralise 19 militants in North Sinai operations    Farwell to 89-year old Egyptian actor Hassan Hosny    Ethiopia says it won't accept Egypt's ‘historic rights' to Nile water    Egypt removes 484 illegal constructions and encroachments on Nile    Salah did not pressure administration to include players on team: Ghazal    Sisi congratulates Egyptians on occasion of Eid Al-Fitr    Egypt's 12 MPs came into contact with coronavirus infected parliamentarian    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Covid-19 and sustained development
Published in Ahram Online on 07 - 04 - 2020

As Covid-19 throws the global economy into havoc, international financial institutions have warned of a sharp decline in economic growth rates and a possible recession that could take years to recover from. At the same time, UN officials have voiced their concern that the focus on the fight to contain coronavirus could derail developing countries' pursuit of sustainable development goals, which could have detrimental repercussions lasting beyond the current crisis.
Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat held a videoconference Sunday with more than 100 representatives of international and regional development organisations in Egypt to discuss available funding, strengthening cooperation with development partners and the repercussions of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
During the meeting, Al-Mashat unveiled a new strategy for partnering with international financial institutions. The three-pronged strategy outlines frameworks for future cooperation between Egypt and its partners in development beneath the headings “Focus on the citizen”, “Ongoing projects” and “The aim is momentum.” Together they highlight essential facets of a development partnership that promotes sustained development.
Egypt has long given high priority to investing in the individual citizen, the essential focus of any development strategy. As human capital is an integral component of the comprehensive development process, Egypt has been keen to foster private-public sector partnerships that work to identify gaps and disparities, furnish support through diverse sectors to millions of beneficiaries, raise standards of living and help people unleash their full potentials.
Education, transportation, water desalination, renewable energy, entrepreneurship and women's empowerment are among the key sectors covered by the “ongoing projects”, many of which are already in progress. The Ministry of International Cooperation has been as transparent as possible in its efforts to demonstrate how the impacts of these projects on society have served and continue to serve the aim of achieving the UN's 17 sustainable development goals.
The new strategy highlights the concept of “targeted partnerships” as a means to give momentum to the drive to realise comprehensive growth and sustained development and to keep pace with rapid global changes. They will also bolster ties with our development partners since the projects undertaken by these partnerships will achieve important strategic functions that will boost the efficacy of cooperation in the framework of multilateral and bilateral partnerships, thereby stimulating greater potential and facilitating more diverse means for growth and development.
Al-Mashat also explained to attendees of the videoconference how the Egyptian government's financial and fiscal policies sought to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable households and to help the private sector offset the slowdown in economic activities. Among these are the actions the government has taken to alleviate the virus's impact on irregular workforces, such as worker safety net legislation and LE 500 an unemployment benefit to workers registered with the Ministry of Manpower. Already more than a million persons working in construction, agriculture, fishing, plumbing and other fields have been registered with the ministry's database.
As Al-Mashat pointed out, one impact of the virus has been to accelerate structural reforms related to social protection, informal labour and financial inclusion, as recent Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) directives indicate. Another 60,000 households were added to the beneficiaries of the Takaful and Karama programmes, which offer immediate cash benefits based on certain conditions, she said. Another 100,000 beneficiaries will be added soon while the budgetary allocation to the programme has risen to LE 19.3 billion from LE 18.5 billion last year. The government has also raised allowances to women community leaders in rural areas from LE 350 to LE 900 per month.
With the onset of the coronavirus crisis, the CBE has taken major steps to facilitate financial inclusion and digitalisation. It has exempted all domestic money transfers from fees and commissions in order to reduce the use of cash, raised the ceiling of mobile phone wallet transactions to LE 30,000, issued pre-paid phone cards free-of-charge for six months, promoted the wider use of QR codes and promoted automated customer enrolment for internet banking services.
All such measures taken to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 help to keep development efforts on track towards the realisation of sustainable development goals.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 9 April, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


Clic here to read the story from its source.