Minister Sharawi meets the world bank delegation
The minister of local development, major-general Mahmoud Sharawi, held an extensive meeting with a high-level delegation of world bank operations managers for the Middle East and north Africa region as part of the discussion of the results of the world bank midterm evaluation of the local development programme in upper Egypt, financed in part by a bank loan of $500 million and a contribution from the government of Egypt of $457 million.
General Mahmoud Sharawi confirmed that the programme is a political priority for the Egyptian state and receives the attention of the President of the republic and the follow-up of the prime minister. The minister praised the level of cooperation with the world bank through this programme and his appreciation of the role played by the bank's team in providing the technical support required to make the program's significant institutional changes work.
The minister also commended the role of the programme coordination office of the ministry of local development, which played a pivotal role in supporting the provinces and speeding up the implementation of the programme over the past two years, and the task forces of the provinces of Suhag and Quena, whose capacities and skills had developed at an unprecedented level through the programme.
The minister said that the pattern of the Egyptian development programme has become a model which the government of Egypt is working to disseminate to other development programmes aimed at the development of underdeveloped regions. He referred to the dignified life initiative that was entrusted to the programme coordinating office on the basis of confidence in the mechanisms and development model of the programme.
General Mahmoud Sharawi noted that there has been significant progress in the implementation rate of projects on the ground, stating that the programme has provided funding to the governorates so far in the equivalent of 9 billion pounds, with approximately 1891 projects, most of which have been terminated and the remainder to be finalized before December 30, 2020. The minister stressed that the ability of governorates to make financial allocations to implement projects was unprecedented, especially since governorates were not used to handling such large budgets as those provided by the programme. General sharawi added that the projects implemented by the programme included infrastructure projects of a large size, such as sanitation, drinking water and roads, and projects aimed at economic development, such as development of competitive clusters, upgrading of industrial zones, development of markets and advanced logistics zones. The program investments also included environmental improvement projects, such as coverage of irrigation and waterways, support for solid waste management and public lighting, as well as projects on institutional development, improvement of services, simplification of access procedures and capacity-building Local administration staff.
The world bank team recounts some of the positive indicators revealed by the mid-term evaluation that confirm the great success of the programme, the most significant being the number of beneficiaries of infrastructure services provided by the programme, which reached approximately 65% of the total population of the governorates of Suhag and Quena over the past period, the significant increase in industrial occupancy rates, the fact that nearly 4,000 private sector enterprises benefited from the programme, and the marked increase in the number of jobs recently provided by the private sector in Suhag and Quena.
The bank's team emphasized that the objective of the mid-term evaluation was to preserve the programme's kick-start and resolve some of the problems that could affect the current level of success and stressed the need to support the current level of financial flows from the central governorate level, to establish an integrated monitoring and evaluation system, and to invest more in capacity-building and institutional development to ensure the continuity and sustainability of programme results.
Translated by: Hanaa Mohammed Saleh