The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partner FHI360 signed Monday a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to support cultural heritage and sustainable tourism in Egypt, mainly in Historic Cairo and Luxor.

Through this MoU, EBRD and FHI360 will work together to improve the environment for private investment in cultural heritage tourism with a special focus on the partnership between the public and private sectors.

During the event, USAID Mission Director Leslie Reed stated, “Today’s partnership with EBRD demonstrates our commitment to supporting the vital tourism sector in Egypt and the thousands of people working in this sector. Together with our Egyptian partners, the United States has contributed more than $100m over the past 25 years to preserve dozens of cultural heritage sites throughout Egypt, from Aswan to Alexandria.”

The EBRD’s Deputy Head Khalid Hamza stated: “The EBRD is proud to be working alongside the USAID-funded Integrated Management of Cultural Tourism (IMCT) project in Egypt, which champions our strategic engagement in tourism in Egypt and our vision for economic inclusion for women, youth, and local communities. We look forward to engaging with IMCT and the private sector, to further strengthen access to finance and skills development programs, and promote sustainable tourism.”

The IMCT is working to rehabilitate and revive several cultural heritage sites in Luxor and Historic Cairo and to achieve financial sustainability by encouraging investment in cultural heritage tourism promotion. It is also supporting workers in the tourism sector and assisting them in marketing their products to help them generate income to contribute to a decent life and enhance their participation in sustainable cultural tourism development.

USAID rehabilitates archaeological sites and enhances the role of tourism as a key driver for economic growth and job opportunities, as tourism creates millions of jobs and injects billions of dollars in hard currency into the Egyptian economy. Since 1978, the American people have invested over $30bn to support Egypt’s economic development.

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