CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat announced the signing of seven grant agreements with the US Agency for International Development worth a total of $125 million.

The agreements come within the framework of the joint economic relations program between the two countries in order to support the implementation of Egypt’s development vision.

Al-Mashat noted that the announced agreements will stimulate the state’s development efforts in the fields of education, science and technology, agriculture, health, economic governance, trade and investment. A grant worth $5 million was also directed to the health sector earlier to improve the country’s response to the pandemic.

Al-Mashat revealed that Egypt’s International Cooperation Ministry, the National Council for Women and the World Economic Forum had also launched the “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” initiative — the first of its kind in Africa and the Middle East — which takes institutional measures to empower women.

She explained that the ministry is seeking to agree on a new partnership with USAID to help achieve the goals of the initiative to “bridge the gender gap, improve the work environment for women in the private sector, and enhance financial inclusion for women.”

US Ambassador Jonathan Cohen said: “I am pleased to announce $125 million in economic aid from the US to Egypt. This assistance is part of the US government’s $30 billion investment in Egypt over the past 40 years, which has brought about clean water and wastewater services to 25 million Egyptians, eliminated polio, built 2,000 schools, and provide 4,000 university scholarships.”

Egypt’s development cooperation portfolio with USAID has recorded about $900 million since 2014, while the partnership portfolio between Egypt and the US since 1978 amounts to around $30 billion.

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