ROME – A high-level delegation made up of board members and senior staff of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) began a week-long official visit to Egypt on Saturday, to observe the impact of IFAD’s investments in the country.
The delegates are representatives of Argentina, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany and Nigeria.
“We are proud of our strategic and highly productive partnership with Egypt which marks four decades of a successful model of cooperation aimed at reducing poverty, tackling food insecurity and contributing to resilience and improvement. livelihoods of over eight million rural people, ”said Dina. Saleh, IFAD Regional Director for the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia and Europe Division.
“The contributions of our Member States are crucial to pursue our common goals by supporting rural people, developing rural economies and investing effectively in programs that will help countries end poverty by 2030 as part of their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “she added.
The IFAD delegation will visit IFAD-supported projects in the country and meet with community members and family farmers in Noubaria, Kafr El Sheik and Amreya to examine the impact of the projects on people’s livelihoods and discuss the challenges they face.
IFAD currently has three ongoing projects in Egypt; Promoting Resilience in Desert Environments (PRIDE); Investments and livelihoods in sustainable agriculture (SAIL); and the Rural Income Promotion by Improving Markets (PRIME) project.
IFAD is investing $ 203.47 million in these rural development projects out of a total cost of $ 284.49 million. The projects are expected to benefit more than 616,000 people in rural areas.
Agriculture is a key sector of the Egyptian economy, providing livelihoods for 57 percent of the population and directly employing around 26 percent of the workforce.
Agriculture is a vital source of exports and foreign exchange for export earnings. The Egyptian economy has proven to be resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic with a positive GDP growth rate in 2020.
IFAD continues to build on the experience of its previous projects and programs to improve the livelihoods of rural populations and strengthen national food security, by supporting the colonization of land reclaimed from the desert in the Lower (North) of Egypt, and supporting productivity improvements in the old lands of the Nile Valley and Upper Egypt.
Under the Western Nubaria Rural Development Project (WNRDP), IFAD supported 46,833 households and contributed to the Egyptian government settlement program by creating and / or rehabilitating 82 social infrastructure, including schools, health centers. health centers, youth centers, kindergartens and religious centers.
The Fund’s interventions consist in particular in seeking to allow a more sustainable and more efficient use of natural resources, in particular water management; promote climate smart strategies; and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the increasing involvement of the private sector in agriculture.
The delegation also plans to meet Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Agriculture and Land Development El-Sayed El-Quseir and Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
Egypt is the largest recipient of IFAD financial assistance in the Near East and North Africa, and was one of the first countries to receive funding from the Fund.
In February 2021, Egypt was re-elected at the 44th session of the Governing Council of IFAD as a member of the IFAD Executive Board for a further four-year term (2021-2024).
Since 1978, IFAD has supported rural poverty reduction in Egypt through 14 development programs and projects with a total value of $ 1.1 billion, of which $ 519.28 million, reaching over 7 millions of people.
These interventions have led to innovations and replicable solutions that have helped build the resilience of smallholder farmers and other rural populations and build rural communities. – SG