Cairo – The Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation, Rania El-Mashat, met with Egypt’s new World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director, Praveen Agrawal.
The meeting discussed areas of joint cooperation and El-Mashat explained the ministry’s framework that aims to strengthen multilateral and bilateral relations in support of the country’s development agenda and to ensure progress in the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“We aim to transform the Luxor Center for Innovation and Knowledge Sharing to a centre of excellence in enhancing food security at a regional level,” Minister of International Cooperation, Rania El-Mashat, said in an official statement.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s WFP Country Director, Praveen Agrawal, said: “We look forward to expanding partnerships in Egypt, in coordination with the Ministry of International Cooperation, in food security, social protection, and private sector participation.”
The minister also reviewed the ministry’s mandate issued by Presidential Decree No. 303 of 2004, committing the ministry to develop and strengthen the economic cooperation between Egypt and other countries, as well as international and regional organizations. It also commits the ministry to propose the criteria for obtaining external financing, both funds and grants; follow-up and monitor ministries and national agencies that benefit from foreign financing within the framework of the general economic policy of the country to ensure achieving the economic development goals.
The Ministry of International Cooperation is also managing Egypt’s economic relations with international organizations of economic cooperation, the international financial institutions and specialized agencies of the United Nations.
“The Ministry of International Cooperation has been working to strengthen Egypt’s Economic Diplomacy through three main principles: the regular organization of Multi-Stakeholder Platforms, to ensure that all projects between development partners are streamlined and effectively aligned with the national agenda and the SDGs; the mapping of the ODA financing to the SDGs for all projects with multilateral and bilateral development partners; and the adoption of a consistent Global Partnerships Narrative that puts People at the Core through Projects in Action, with Purpose as the Driver.”
The ministry wants to expand partnerships with the WFP, particularly in the field of developing both rural and low-income communities in Upper Egypt.
The minister also expressed the importance of strengthening relations within the scope of the new 2023-2027 WFP Country Strategy in Egypt that falls within the current Partnership Development Framework (UNPDF); supporting the participation of relevant entities from the government, private sector, and civil society in achieving the country’s development vision.
During the meeting, El-Mashat discussed the possibility of transforming the Luxor Center for Innovation and Knowledge Sharing into a centre of excellence, being the first of its kind in Africa and becoming part of the WFP Centres of Excellence, which are platforms that achieve food security by tackling malnutrition in developing countries through the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
Agrawal stated that WFP seeks to focus on joint cooperation with Egypt within the new framework in specific pillars; food security and nutrition, building community resilience, social protection, private sector participation, and refugee support, all in coordination with the Ministry of International Cooperation and relevant national authorities. He also applauded the development efforts undertaken by the Government of Egypt on the economic and social levels.
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