A high-level delegation of Executive Board members and senior staff of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) began an official one-week visit to Egypt today, to observe the impact of IFAD’s investments in the country.
The delegates are representatives from Argentina, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Germany, and Nigeria. “We are proud of our strategic and highly productive partnership with Egypt that marks four decades of a successful model of cooperation aimed at reducing poverty, addressing food insecurity and contributing to the resilience and improved livelihoods of more than eight million rural people,” said Dina Saleh, IFAD’s Regional Director for the Near East, North Africa, Central Asia, and Europe division.
“The contributions of our member states are crucial in pursuing our shared goals in supporting rural people, developing rural economies and effectively investing in programmes that will help countries to 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 review the impact of the projects on people’s livelihoods and discuss the challenges that they are facing.
IFAD currently has three ongoing projects in Egypt; Promoting Resilience in Desert Environments (PRIDE); Sustainable Agriculture Investments and Livelihoods (SAIL); and the Promotion of Rural Incomes through Market Enhancement (PRIME) project. IFAD is investing US$ 203.47 million in these rural development projects out of a total cost of US$ 284.49 million. The projects are expected to benefit over 616,000 people in rural areas.
Agriculture is a key sector in the Egyptian economy, providing livelihoods for 57 per cent of the population and directly employing about 26 per cent of the labour force. Farming is a vital source of exports and foreign exchange of export revenue. 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 programmes to improve the livelihoods of rural people and enhance national food security, by supporting the settlement of land reclaimed from the desert in Lower (Northern) Egypt, and by supporting productivity improvements in the old lands in the Nile valley and Upper Egypt.
Under the West Noubaria Rural Development Project (WNRDP), IFAD has supported 46,833 households and contributed to the Government of Egypt settlement programme by establishing and/or rehabilitating 82 social infrastructure including schools, health units, youth centers, kindergartens, and religious centers.
The interventions of the Fund include seeking to enable more sustainable and efficient use of natural resources particularly water management; promoting climate-smart strategies; and leveraging opportunities provided by the expanding private sector involvement in agriculture.
The delegation also plans to meet with H.E. Prime Minister, Mostafa Madbouly, H.E. Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, El-Sayed El-Quseir and H.E. Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat.
Egypt is IFAD’s largest recipient of financial assistance in Near East and North Africa, and was one of the first countries to receive the Fund’s financing. In February 2021, Egypt has been re-elected during the 44th session of the IFAD Governing council as a member of the IFAD Executive Board for another four-year term (2021- 2024).
Since 1978, IFAD has supported rural poverty alleviation in Egypt through 14 developmental programmes and projects with a total value of US$ 1.1 billion, of which IFAD financed US$ 519.28 million, reaching more than 7 million people. These interventions led to innovations and replicable solutions that have contributed to strengthening the resilience of small-scale farmers and other rural people and building rural communities.