Launch of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Response Plan - Egypt Chapter (2018-2019)
10 July 2018
Statement by Ms. Naglaa Arafa, Assistant Resident Representative, UNDP Egypt
Your Excellency Ambassador Ehab Fawzi, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Multilateral Affairs and International Security
Your Excellency Ambassador Mohamed El Badri, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Arab Affairs
Mr. Karim Atassi, UNHCR Representative
Distinguished partners and distinguished representatives of the Government of Egypt
Ladies and Gentlemen
I have the honor to participate in today’s event to witness the launch of the 2018-2019 Egypt Chapter under the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) in response to the Syria crisis as well as the launch of the 2018 Egypt Response Plan for Refugees and Asylum Seekers from Sub-Saharan Africa, Iraq and Yemen. The 2018-2019 Egypt Chapter in response to the Syria Crisis was developed under the leadership of the Egyptian Government with the support of the United Nations in Egypt, with UNHCR coordinating the refugee component and UNDP coordinating the resilience component.
I wish to seize this opportunity to acknowledge the efforts and commitment of the Government of Egypt to create an enabling environment for refugees and migrants at large and especially Syrian refugees who enjoy full access to all public services. Indeed Egypt exemplifies a great model in terms of its inclusiveness and integration of refugees despite the burden this is placing on government institutions and resources. It is our role as international organizations and development partners to support the Government of Egypt respond effectively and efficiently to the humanitarian and development needs of refugees and host communities. The 3RP integrates humanitarian assistance with long-term development goals through a nationally owned plan that meets protection and basic needs, while building resilience across the various sectors to strengthen the capacities and resources of individuals, communities, and state institutions, to cope with and recover from current hardship and pressures and to better anticipate and mitigate future shocks
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Noting the protracted nature of the Syrian crisis, the 2018-2019 Plan continues to largely focus on resilience with the aim of addressing the impacted and vulnerable communities, across all sectors; building the capacities of national and sub-national service delivery systems; providing the strategic, technical and policy support to the government to lead and advance the national response to the crisis
Four years into the 3RP process, there is increased interest to scale-up interventions focused on reinforcement of local systems to provide goods and services such as protection, health, education and housing; strengthening social cohesion; implementing income generation/job creation activities. This is particularly important for Egypt which has been a destination for refugees as well as being both a destination and transit country for migrants and will continue to be so. As such, investment in resilience activities will further enhance the capacities of overburdened national institutions to absorb and respond to the increasing demand today and in the future.
Egypt has all the ingredients for the successful implementation of this Plan. On the one hand, the Government is fully committed and is playing a key role and leading role in managing the planning and implementation process. On the other hand, there is a wealth of knowledge, partnerships and lessons learned generated by 3RP Partners in the region to draw upon and which will help the 3RP partners in Egypt, led by the government, accelerate and implement a much more ambitious resilience agenda across the five sectors: namely protection, health, education, food security, basic needs and livelihoods. Such endeavors will require that we continue to build and nurture multi-stakeholder and innovative initiatives and partnerships which bring together government institutions, the private sector, and development partners.
UNDP will work closely with 3RP partners to mainstream resilience interventions across the different sectors. For the Plan we are launching today, 3RP partners have already appealed for an ambitious list of interventions focused on strengthening the capacity of existing national and local systems to respond to education, health and protection needs of refugees and impacted communities. 3RP partners will be also be involved in building resilience through area-based approaches with an emphasis on skills development, entrepreneurship and improved access to wage employment all with the full participation and engagement of women.
Within this framework, UNDP will build on its successful partnership with the MSME Development Agency to scale-up the implementation of cash for work programmes in host communities of Syrian refugees to strengthen community development through enhanced social cohesion, enhanced economic opportunities, and improved social services. With the support of the Government of Kuwait, programmes implemented in host communities of Syrian refugees in Alexandria, Menoufia and Sharkia resulted in employment opportunities for 664 young men and women and benefitted more than 12,000 families of Syrian refugees and host communities through waste management, environmental awareness and health awareness activities.
In closing, I wish to thank the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its leadership and for organizing and hosting this important event. I wish to thank all the 3RP partners for their commitment and hard work and we look forward to a continued and fruitful partnership under the 3RP.