Development cooperation is a fundamental component of the Italian presence in Egypt. Also thanks to the concrete aids granted to the country in the particular economic situation that characterized the post revolution and the transitional phase, Italy has further confirmed its role as Egypt’s strategic partner, while developing a cooperative experience judged by the Egyptians Model to be replicated. The action promoted here has always been characterized not only by meeting the real needs of the Egyptian population, the demands of the civil society and the demands of the Government, but also with extreme sensitivity to the specificities of the historical moment as well as the territory and culture Egyptians.
Today, more than ever, our presence is of fundamental importance, especially since the cooperation programs that Italy promotes and implements in Egypt face the most important challenges of the moment and favors the sustainable socio-economic development of the country for the benefit of the entire Egyptian people. Our actions, in line with the priorities identified in the National Development Plans, focus, through targeted actions, on fighting poverty and supporting the most vulnerable sections of the population; favoring the improvement of education, technical and professional training, promoting employment opportunities, especially for young people, protecting and encouraging women and children’s rights; promoting the development of the private sector – in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – by also supporting the balance-of-payments; moreover, paying special attention to the preservation and valorization of the unmistakable historical-archaeological, natural and cultural heritage of Egypt, also through the development of ecotourism; and last but not least, aiming at strengthening the agricultural sector and rural development.
In particular, following the 2011’s Revolution (25 January 2011), The Italian Cooperation in Egypt, in line with what was discussed at European level, has oriented its action towards high-impact interventions aimed at responding to the most urgent needs of the population though the instruments already in place (Debt Swap, Contracts for Food Aid, Multilateral Programs (ILOs), grant aid and disbursements), by recalculating them in line with the new scenario that is without neglecting the broader ones able to generate income and employment and to offer a real contribution to the legitimate aspirations of the population towards greater involvement in the country’s political life, through support for democratic governance and the involvement of civil society .
Within the framework of the Development Cooperation Guidelines 2011-13, 2013-2015 and 2015-2017, Egypt appears as a priority 1 country. In accordance with Art.1 of Law 49 of 1987, “Development Cooperation is An integral part of Italian foreign policy “and pursues” goals of solidarity among peoples and full realization of fundamental human rights. ” In order to apply this principle, the Guidelines identify the effectiveness of the aid as a priority in the wake of what was decided in 2003 in Rome, in 2005 in Paris, in 2008 in Accra and in 2011 in Busan.
The Italian Cooperation has carried out its action in line with the Accra Agenda for Action, in line with the conditions for aid effectiveness, within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement between the Government of the Italian Republic and the Government of Arab Republic of Egypt (17 January 2010) and in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the Italian Government and the Egyptian Government for a New Partnership for Development, signed on May 19, 2010 in Rome. The latter defines a shared three-year program in priority areas such as Education and Human Resources Development; Socio-Economic and Health Development; Conservation of Cultural Heritage; Environmental Protection and Management of Protected Areas.