oke Masaki, Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, has signed an Exchange of Notes with Rania Al-Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, to add ¥120m (equivalent to approximately $1.1m) to a previously agreed grant to reach a total $19m for the construction of an outpatient department at Cairo University Pediatric Hospital, known as Abu El-Reish Hospital.
A grant agreement was also signed between Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghffar and OMURA Yoshifumi, Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Egypt Office.
Abu El-Reish Hospital was first established in 1982 with grant aid from Japan to improve the conditions of maternal and child health care in Egypt and became known as the “Japanese Hospital” by the Egyptian people. Since its establishment, Japan has continuously supported the development of the hospital by providing a total of approximately $100m and dispatching more than 200 Japanese medical experts to the hospital
The construction project of the outpatient facility was started in 2015 with an aim of reducing the overcrowding of outpatients and increasing the number of medical examinations that can be performed at the hospital.
With this additional grant, the Government of Japan expects that the construction work will be steadily carried out with adequate precautionary measures against COVID-19 and completed by March 2022.
Ambassador Noke said, “Prior to the signing ceremony today, I visited Abu El-Reish Hospital and felt keenly how important this facility was by seeing many treated children from all over the country and their attending families. At the construction site, I confirmed that a Japanese company was carrying out the construction work very hard with Egyptian representatives and workers and that the framework of the building was completed up to the fifth floor. I hope, by utilizing the additional assistance we signed today, the new outpatient facility will be completed as soon as possible and Egyptian children and their families will be able to take advantage of the facility in the very near future.”
On this occasion, Ambassador Noke, Minister Al-Mashat and Minister Abdel Ghffar also made a comprehensive overview of Japan’s cooperation to Egypt including in the fight against COVID-19 (Please find attached the details of Japan’s support in this regard) and agreed to further enhance bilateral cooperation between Japan and Egypt.
Minister Al-Mashat praised the Egyptian-Japanese joint relations pertaining to international cooperation and development finance, as the current portfolio of economic cooperation between the two countries amounts to $3bn allocated to implement 14 projects across various sectors; namely electricity, transport, navigation, education, higher education, and irrigation. Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, Japan has supported the Egyptian health sector with development financing worth $28m, including a $9m grant to combat the pandemic and purchase medical equipment; in addition to the $19m grant to inaugurate the outpatient building of Abu Al-Rish Children’s Hospital.
Minister Al-Mashat explained that the pandemic has not hindered cooperation with Japan, as many important agreements were concluded to finance a sundry of sectors. For instance, a development financing agreement amounting to $236m was signed last February to enhance development policies within the energy sector.
She added that the Ministry of International Cooperation is working to consolidate economic relations between Egypt and its multilateral and bilateral development partners through the principles of Economic Diplomacy to implement the country’s development vision and move forward towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Minister further stressed the importance of Abu Al-Rish Japanese Hospital as a huge edifice for treating children, serving more than 25,000 patients per month.