Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, signed with Mr. Louis Dumas, the Canadian Ambassador to Cairo, at the ministry’s headquarters in the New Administrative Capital, a grant agreement worth 10 million Canadian dollars, to enhance food security efforts and combat climate change through the project “Promoting climate-smart agriculture and agricultural biodiversity.” To support the ability to adapt in rural communities most affected by climate changes in the old and new lands of the Nile Delta and Upper Egypt”, in the framework of integration with the Egyptian government’s efforts to implement the national platform of the “Novi” program, the axis of the link between water, food and energy projects. It is scheduled that the project will be implemented in cooperation between the national authorities, including the ministries of environment, agriculture and local development, the National Council for Women and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The signing events were attended by Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, Dr. Abdel Hakim El-Waer, Assistant Director-General and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FO), Ms. Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, and Mr. Nasr El-Din Haj Al-Amin, Country Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization “FO”, in addition to leaders and representatives of the Ministry of International Cooperation and the “FO” organization, the Canadian embassy, and the ministries of local development and agriculture.
The agreement comes in light of the efforts made by the Ministry of International Cooperation, in cooperation with multilateral and bilateral development partners, to enhance food security efforts, support the country’s vision in the field of combating climate change through the National Climate Change Strategy 2050, and stimulate efforts to move from climate pledges to implementation.
In her speech, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, expressed her appreciation for the existing cooperation with the Canadian side to enhance development efforts in various fields, including women’s empowerment and climate action, and the importance of the agreement that was signed within the framework of implementing the “Novi” program, the focus of the link between water and food projects. And energy, which is an inclusive platform for the relevant parties to achieve national goals at the level of development and climate action as well as global goals. It also reflects the integration between bilateral development partners and the United Nations as one of the largest multilateral organizations to advance development efforts in Egypt.
The Minister of International Cooperation also indicated that, through continuous coordination between all relevant parties, the “FO” organization, which has a long history of cooperation in Egypt, will cooperate with national authorities, including the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Local Development and the National Council for Women, to implement the project, which It is consistent with Egypt’s climate ambition and its endeavor to implement its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), which it announced during the past month, and it also supports the country’s efforts to confront the repercussions of the war in Europe on global supply chains and food security.
And the Minister of International Cooperation continued, that the new agreement enhances cooperation with the United Nations and its affiliated organizations under the umbrella of the new strategic framework 2023-2027 that was signed recently, pointing to the ongoing efforts to implement the pledges of the “Novi” program and announce results with verification with all partners during the next climate conference. COP28.
For his part, Major General Hisham Amna, Minister of Local Development, thanked Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, for the great and fruitful cooperation between the two ministries and the support of the Ministry of Local Development and the governorates in many programs and projects. He also indicated that the existing cooperation between the Egyptian government and the State of Canada is large and fruitful, to help Peasants and youth, in addition to empowering women in the countryside, referring to the close Egyptian-Canadian relations that have always been characterized by strength and distinction, in all political, economic and social fields.
The Minister of Local Development pointed to the great importance this project represents to enhance the resilience of the governorates of Aswan, Beheira, and Kafr El-Sheikh through cooperation with a number of partner ministries, led by international cooperation, agriculture, environment, and the National Council for Women, and in cooperation with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, noting that the Egyptian government is working Assigned by His Excellency President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to strengthen partnership initiatives and cooperation with all governments, international development partners, as well as the foreign and Egyptian private sector, to advance green transformation, reduce carbon emissions, and adapt to the effects of climate change.
In the same context, the Canadian ambassador in Cairo said that the project comes within the framework of the existing cooperation between Egypt and Canada, and we are pleased to cooperate with the “FO” organization to achieve the common goals and vision between the two countries to achieve development, and to build on fruitful cooperation in the field of confronting climate change. The Canadian ambassador praised Egypt’s leadership and role in organizing the COP27 climate conference.
The project promotes the improvement of the lives of citizens in the ancient and modern rural areas most in need in Egypt, by reducing the poverty rate and enhancing food security by helping them to develop and implement practices that enable them to adapt to climate changes, and to ensure that the project serves all people whose work depends on Agricultural products and agricultural food, in the governorates of Aswan, Beheira, and Kafr El-Sheikh, and its implementation will continue over a period of 4 years, during the period from 2023-2027; It achieves a number of goals, including enhancing the ability of 4,536 small farmers, male and female farmers, to adapt to climate change, while increasing their agricultural production and productivity through the adoption of innovative and developed technologies and practices for climate-smart agriculture, in addition to enhancing the biodiversity of agricultural systems for smallholders, as a strategy. To adapt to climate change with a focus on soil and plant health, creating an enabling environment for integrating climate change adaptation and promoting climate-smart agriculture, nature-based technologies and practices and enhancing biodiversity with local agri-food systems, benefiting at least 144 rural communities.
In his speech, Dr. Abdel Hakim Al-Waer, Regional Director of the “FO” organization, thanked the organization’s partners from the Egyptian and Canadian governments for their continuous support, saying, “I represent the “FO” organization at the regional level and we are proud of what we have achieved in Egypt, and our cooperation with the Egyptian authorities is a model of success that can be applied In other countries, we will work in cooperation with the Ministry of International Cooperation to take advantage of international forums to highlight the success stories applied in Egypt at the level of promoting sustainable development goals through the “Novi” program, to allow an opportunity to replicate them at the regional level.
Mr. Nasr El-Din Haj El-Amin, Country Director of FO, said: “FAO has always sought to provide support to Egypt in order to achieve sustainable development and has spared no effort in promoting opportunities towards that, and we are happy with this signature. The Canadian government has had a pivotal role in The formulation of the project to enhance adaptation efforts by supporting small farmers and strengthening food value chains within the “Novi” program. Egypt has always been supportive of the efforts of the “FO” organization by embracing the regional office that was established 70 years ago and the country office that was inaugurated since 1967.
For her part, Mrs. Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, added: “I express my appreciation for this strong partnership between Egypt, Canada and the FO organization, and we want to see many of these partnerships to enhance mitigation efforts and adapt to the consequences of climate change.
It is worth noting that the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is one of the agencies affiliated with the United Nations, and during the past year, Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, and Ms. Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Office in Egypt, visited a number of projects implemented by “FAO”. Or »in Egypt, in cooperation with the national authorities, within the activities of the Partnership Week between Egypt and the United Nations in Upper Egypt.