The Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Rania al-Mashat ascertained that the Coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the urgent need to enhance cooperation between the private and public sectors and civil society organizations to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs) and face crises, noting that the current crisis could not be overcome without close cooperation between all three parties.
This statement was given during HE’s participation at a conference organized by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) under the title of “Post-Corona Pandemic Economic Recovery and Support of SMEs, Financial Technology, Venture Capital and Startups”, in presence of Chairman of the Egyptian Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Mr. Karim Darwish and over 160 participants from 26 countries as well as members of governments and representatives of the European Parliament, WB, UN, WTO, financial institutions, SMEs and startups.
The Minister referred to the vision she previously proposed at the World Economic Forum (WEF), which emphasized that the Coronavirus pandemic required the reformation of the socio-economic system and highlighted the significance of cooperation between all relevant parties, given that the pandemic transgressed all international boundaries affecting global production and consumption. Dr. Al Mashat explained that the vision comprised 4 pillars to identify participatory efforts between the private and public sectors: accelerating inclusive socio-economic empowerment, developing a new vision for economic integration, harnessing the fourth industrial revolution and enhancing administrative and environmental supervision.
Further, the Minister emphasized that the pandemic should not discourage the countries’ endeavors to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that MOIC was constantly working on coordinating the development partners’ efforts and on supporting Egypt’s plan to achieve SDGs; including to end poverty and hunger, achieve gender equality, promote innovation, infrastructure and clean energy, and revitalize global partnerships.
It is worth noting that Egypt exerted extensive efforts within the four pillars and was the first country to expand the social protection umbrella through programs supporting women during the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to identifying 1.5 million unofficial workers to receive 3-month-government support as part of the pandemic response plan, explained Dr. Al-Mashat
Within the same context, the Minister referred to the government’s use of digitization and e-learning during the pandemic, succeeding to complete all educational processes of various phases online, based on the reform policies implemented over the past years.
Further, Dr. Al-Mashat shed light on Egypt’s commitment to focus on business continuity and to take several decisions that would enhance the principles of environmental sustainability in each implemented development project, asserting the necessity of achieving regional integration and intra trade.
The decisions taken by the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to provide SMEs with liquidity, support monetary and financial reform policies and expand the social protection network for women were also addressed by the Minister, who stated that Egypt was the first country in the region to launch “Closing the Gender Gap Accelerator” in collaboration with the WEF to empower women and enhance their leadership positions.
The Minister also reiterated the significance of international cooperation and coordination in facing the pandemic. Within this framework, MOIC launched a global partnership narrative for effective cooperation with development partners and international financial institutions based on three main pillars: People at the Core, Projects in Progress and Purpose as the Driving Force, with a view to harnessing the power of partnerships in a manner that would achieve sustainable development, a priority on the level of all sectors.
On his part, Dr. Darwish stated that COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted jobs and livelihoods of several workers and their families, as well as enterprises, all over the world, especially SMEs.
He shed light on the ongoing coordination between PAM and main regional and international actors to identify and exchange operational solutions for economic recovery, emphasizing the urgent need to adopt economic and social responsive measures to prevent high rates of poverty and unemployment and to empower SMEs to prosper and transcend borders.
Source: State Information Service Egypt