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Egypt, Japan ink $19 mln agreement to expand Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital
Published in Ahram Online on 05 - 08 - 2021

Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat along with Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar signed an agreement with the Japanese Embassy and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) regarding increasing the JICA's grant to $19 million to construct the new outpatient building of the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital.
The agreement was concluded in the presence of Ambassador of Japan to Egypt Masaki Noke and Chief Representative of the JICA Egypt Office Yoshifumi Omura within the framework of the distinguished Egyptian-Japanese relations to promote the development of Egypt's health sector.
Al-Mashat stressed the importance of the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital as a huge edifice for treating children, serving more than 25,000 patients per month.
The current portfolio of economic cooperation between the two countries amounts to $3 billion allocated to implement 14 projects across various sectors: chiefly electricity, transport, navigation, education, higher education, and irrigation.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Japan has supported Egypt's health sector with development financing worth $28 million, including a $9 million grant to combat the pandemic and purchase medical equipment, in addition to the $19 million grant to inaugurate the outpatient building of the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital.
"The pandemic has not hindered cooperation with Japan, as many important agreements were concluded to finance a sundry of sectors. For instance, a development financing agreement amounting to $236 million was signed last February to enhance development policies within the energy sector," Al-Mashat stated.
"The Ministry of International Cooperation is working to consolidate economic relations between Egypt and its multilateral and bilateral development partners through the principles of economic diplomacy to implement the country's development vision and move forward towards achieving the sustainable development goals."
For his part, Minister Abdel-Ghaffar commended the Japanese government and JICA for supporting the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital by funding the construction of the outpatient clinic building; providing the necessary medical devices and equipment; and providing training programmes for nurses and doctors working in the hospital.
Abdel-Ghaffar stressed that the increase in the grant for the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital contributes to the reduction of overcrowding and long waiting lists for children who come from all over Egypt, adding that this collaboration testifies to the Egyptian government's keenness to improve health services, benefit from Japanese expertise, and develop the mechanism used in constructing the clinics to maintain the safety of neighbouring buildings.
Ambassador Noke assured the vital role the Abu Al-Rish Children's Hospital plays in providing treatment for thousands of children from all over Egypt, explaining that the increase in the development financing will support and speed up the completion of the outpatient clinic building, enabling children to benefit from medical services and acquire the necessary health care.
Noke noted that the Japanese government is working closely with the Egyptian government in many areas alongside the health sector.

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