Egypt is going all out to create strategic connections with the world. Political analysts are calling this ‘aid diplomacy’. Using the crises that the world is facing at the hands of the Covid-19 situation, Egypt might be winning itself brownie points and favors to reap benefits of its actions later.
It seems that Egypt’s stance to keep sending aid to many countries has unveiled Egypt’s new diplomatic approach adopted to enhance bilateral ties with different countries.
A fundamentally import driven economy, Egypt moved towards becoming a more powerful foreign investment-driven hotspot. Since 2000, its trade policies and tax reforms have seen its economy thrive. The myriad examples of it reaching out to poor nations in the form of evident aids are getting noticed.
According to political analysts worldwide, indeed, foreign aid is such a safe and sound way of ‘creating a convenient climate for better ties between Egypt and the recipients.’ Egypt has been praised for sharing medical and food aid, something it has not been popular in doing in the past. It has already sent medical aid to a superpower like the United States, something which (maybe) new leadership will have to live up to. Further, its aid has touched the lives of those worst effected in Italy, Kenya, and even Palestine. Egypt’s interest in mending ties with Africa couldn’t be timed better than now. It had sent a food consignment to Sudan in the first week of August, helped Lebanon that was hit by an unfortunate chemical blast apart from food aid in large numbers to name a few tactical moves.
Its focus on Sudan has therefore been of great consequence to its diplomatic strategy. As part of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s 100 Million Healthy Lives initiative, Egypt has already pledged to treat 250,000 Sudanese citizens from the Hepatitis C virus. It is gone out of its way to agreeing to treat those affected in the Sudanese uprising in its own medical facilities, apart from increasing academic scholarships for the Sudanese medical cadre members.
Its focus on medical aid has been the right move for a country like Sudan which is trying to get its foothold, after being savagely massacred in a civil uprising over a decade. Opening up a medical center in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and sending medical aid to help control the spread of COVID-19 has also been a masterstroke.
Ironically, Egypt is said to have borrowed a huge amount from the World Bank recently. According to a World Bank news report, the humanitarian organization has recently approved US$50 million for Egypt as an emergency response under the World Bank Group’s new Fast Track COVID-19 Facility — a global effort to help strengthen the COVID-19 response and shorten the time to recovery.
The project aims to strengthen the prevention, detection, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Egypt.
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