CAIRO: The EU is supporting Egypt with a financial package of €89 million ($96 million) to combat the coronavirus.
Egyptian Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat and head of the EU delegation to Egypt, Christian Berger, witnessed the signing of an amendment to the Health Sector Policies Support — Phase Two program, worth €89 million, to fight the virus.
This amount includes support for the national plan and strategy of the Ministry of Health and Population to combat the virus and limit its effects in Egypt by strengthening the capacity of the health system response, taking preventive measures and detecting cases to prevent the transmission of the virus, and establishing an institutional structure to coordinate and follow up the national health response strategy and plan.
The amount will be disbursed in two tranches, one with a value of €80 million and the second with a value of €9 million.
Al-Mashat said that through coordination between the two sides, the total current economic cooperation portfolio had reached €1.35 billion — to implement development programs and projects aimed at improving the quality of life of Egyptian citizens, improving the standard of living, investing in infrastructure and achieving social and economic development.
“Despite what we all faced during this year in terms of economic and social challenges resulting from the emerging coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of International Cooperation was able to achieve more important economic contacts and partnerships,” Al-Mashat said.
She said that at the beginning of the crisis there had been coordination between the EU, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Finance to achieve optimal use of resources to combat the virus.
It was agreed to reallocate €89 million from the Supporting Health Sector Policies — Phase Two program to support the Ministry of Health and Population’s national plan to fight the virus by strengthening the capacity of the health system response, taking preventive measures and detecting cases to prevent transmission of the disease.
Al-Mashat said that the Egyptian government’s efforts continued toward participatory work and cooperation with international and regional development partners. This was to provide urgent financing that mainly targeted the health sector in addition to a number of important economic sectors. This contributed to the provision of development financing, worth $7.3 billion since the beginning of 2020; $2.7 billion of which was in contracts for the private sector.
EU Ambassador to Egypt Christian Berger said: “Given the level of this pandemic that is unfolding in several waves, I believe that we can win the battle through close cooperation between the EU and Egypt. The funding of €89 million that we sign today will help strengthen the capabilities of the health system to confront and respond to the pandemic. This is the result of close cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation as well as the Ministry of Health and Population.”
The total current cooperation portfolio with the EU amounts to about €1.35 billion, in sectors including health, education, women’s economic empowerment, drinking water and sanitation, transportation, agriculture, irrigation and energy.
Egypt benefits from other development programs funded by the EU within the framework of regional cooperation, such as the Cross Border Cooperation Program for the Mediterranean Basin and the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), through which regional and Euro-Mediterranean projects are funded.