Egypt's PM reviews reports on COVID-19 repercussions on local, int'l energy market

FILE: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli Moustafa MadbouliCAIRO – 6 June 2020: Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli reviewed two reports issued by the Cabinet's Information and Decision Support Center (IDSC) on the repercussions of the novel coronavirus on the local and global energy market.The reports include 18 topics based on analyses published by the International Energy Agency, The Conversation, the Energy World, the World Economic Forum, McKinsey & Company and Bloomberg, among others on the most significant procedures and efforts exerted by the government over the past 100 days to counter the novel coronavirus outbreak.IDSC Head Osama el Gohari said on Saturday that one of the two reports touch upon the repercussions of the Covid-19 on the oil and natural gas sectors, while the other report tackled the impacts of the global oil crisis on the Egyptian energy market.Madbouli has said the government exerts great efforts to save lives of citizens, considering citizens' health a top priority.He stressed that the government works on improving life standards of citizens in light of the adoption of economic and social reform programs to promote the national economy.The government also worked on reducing inflation rates and financial deficit and promoting the growth rates and the value of local currency to attract more investments, in addition to enhancing the quality of medical services nationwide prior to the Covid-19 spread, the premier added.The report touched upon the government's economic and social procedures taken to counter the pandemic.The government's efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak also included imposing lockdown nationwide, among others, the report said.

Source:Egypt Today

June 06, 2020 14:48 UTC

NCW issues 3rd edition of women policy tracker amid COVID-19

The President of the National Council for Women Maya Morsy – Egypt TodayCAIRO - 6 June 2020: The National Council for Women has issued the third edition of its women policy tracker on responsive policies & programs amid the new COVID-19 Pandemic.A Saturday statement said that the National Council for Women "continues its efforts in monitoring the policies & measures considerate to the needs of women which were taken by the Egyptian government as part of the efforts to contain the spread of the current covid-19," as the council announced the issuance of the third edition of the women policy tracker which take into account the needs of women throughout the past period and since the crisis began.Dr. Maya Morsy, President of the National Council for Women, said that this report comes as a third edition of the two reports that were issued by the Council in the last two months with the aim of: Monitoring all policies & procedures taken by the Government that are responsive to the needs of Egyptian women; designing an easier tool that can be used as reference by decision makers for more collaborative vision on means of moving forward; documenting the coordinated efforts of the government; & reflecting on those policies.Dr. Morsy also indicated that the third edition of the report monitored 80 policies/measures/procedures taken by the Government to contain and control the spread of the current covid-19; that are responsive to Egyptian women needs since the covid-19 hit Egypt until the 6th of June 2020.It is worth mentioning that Mrs. Phumzile Mlambo Ngcuka, Under Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Women, had previously praised the Women policy tracker on Responsive policies and Programs During COVID-19 Pandemic, & commended the leadership of the Egyptian government on ensuring that its responses has a gender lens, and the tracker serves as an opportunity to ensure that no policy is inconsiderate to women’s needs.

Source:Egypt Today

June 06, 2020 10:30 UTC

Egyptian top prosecutor refers doctor, father to criminal court for circumcising 3 girls

FILE - The procedure of FGM - ReutersCAIRO – 6 June 2020: As the Egyptian state, since 2014, has taken arguably significant steps to empower women, it has focused on combating female circumcision (mutilation) due to probable health risks. Such practice has been criminalized by the state in 2016.On Thursday, the state-run National Committee on the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation has thanked Hamada Al-Sawi, the northeastern African country’s attorney general, for referring a doctor and a father of three girls in Upper Egypt’s Sohag governorate to the criminal court for forcing each of these three children, 11, 9 and 8, to undergo circumcision.According to the statement issued by the committee, which is jointly headed by the National Council for Women and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, the father has deceived his children and brought the doctor under the pretext of inoculating them against coronavirus.The three girls were anesthetized after the doctor gave them a certain drug. They woke up to find themselves tied and felt pain in their genital organs, an official statement earlier said.The mother of the three girls have contacted the phone number 16000, the child rescue line related to the Childhood and Motherhood Council, Sahar Al-Sonbaty, the secretary general of the council said.The mother has been divorced.Maya Morsy, the president of the National Council for Women said the attorney general’s decision reflects the state’s keenness to eradicate such “crime.” Morsy also hailed the General Prosecution’s “painstaking efforts” and “decisive, fair and transparent” decisions.Although Egypt has outlawed female circumcision in 2008 and even criminalized it in 2016, toughening the penalty to up to seven years for doctors who are proven guilty with conducting this practice, the practice did not stop, especially in Upper Egypt, as female circumcision there is rather tied to traditions than religion.Circumcision was outlawed after Budour Shaker, a 11-year-old girl in Upper Egypt’s Minya, died of an excessive dose of anesthesia while being circumcised at a private clinic.In this regard, the National Committee on the Eradication of Female Genital Mutilation has urged legislating authorities, in its Thursday statement, to amend the legal article on female circumcision so that to fill the gaps and prevent and circumvention of law.In February, the attorney general also referred a doctor and two others to the criminal court after a 12-year old girl died undergoing circumcision in Upper Egypt’s Assiut.Four people, including a parent, an uncle and a retired physician, were imprisoned four days pending investigation in January following the incident. The initial investigations revealed that parent and the uncle went to a gynecologist for FGM. However, after the retired doctor carried out the FGM operation, the girl suffered from complications led to her death.The General Prosecution urged doctors to fulfill their educational role by correcting the society’s misconceptions concerning circumcision, including get people acquainted with the consequent harm and pain of such practice to women.The Public Prosecution in a statement called on everybody to cooperate to eliminate such phenomenon and not to cover such “crime” up.“The Public Prosecution also appeals to the legislator to reconsider the penalty stipulated for the perpetrator of a circumcision crime if he is a doctor,” the statement added.Egypt’s Grand Mufti, the government’s official arbiter of Islamic law, after Budoor died, decreed that female genital cutting was forbidden by Islam, in his strongest statement against the practice.

Source:Egypt Today

June 05, 2020 22:52 UTC

IMF reaches staff-level agreement with Egypt on $5.2 B loan

International Monetary Fund (IMF) - REUTERSCAIRO, 5 June 2020: The International Monetary Fund announced, Friday reaching a Staff-Level agreement on a 12-Month $5.2 Billion Stand-By loan arrangement.“Following support under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Facility (RFI)—aims to alleviate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, helping maintain macroeconomic stability, strengthen the social safety net, and support reforms to spur private-sector-led growth and job creation.” IMF stated in a statement.It was added that “in response to a request from the Egyptian authorities, an International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Ms. Uma Ramakrishnan held virtual meetings from May 19 to June 5, 2020 with the Egyptian authorities to discuss IMF financial support for the authorities’ policy plans to ensure macroeconomic stability and a strong economic recovery.At the end of the virtual discussions, Ramakrishnan issued the following statement:“I am pleased to announce that the Egyptian authorities and the IMF team have reached staff-level agreement on economic policies that could be supported by a 12-month Stand-By Arrangement (SBA). The SBA, with requested access of SDR 3.8 billion (equivalent to around US$5.2 billion), supports the authorities’ efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability amid the COVID-19 shock while continuing to advance key structural reforms. This will safeguard the gains achieved by Egypt over the past three years and put the country on strong footing for sustained recovery as well as higher and more inclusive growth and job creation over the medium term. The SBA will also aim to support health and social spending, improve fiscal transparency, and advance further reforms to spur private-sector-led growth and job creation. The arrangement is also expected to catalyze additional bilateral and multilateral financial support.“This agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, which is expected to consider Egypt’s request in the coming weeks.”Earlier on May Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Ramy Abu El Naga said that there are talks with the International Monetary Fund on a second package of financial support.He added that Egypt's foreign exchange reserves are sufficient to meet import needs for a period of 7 months, which is a higher rate than international averages.Abul-Naga pointed out in an interview with "Al-Arabiya" to the $ 2.8 billion rapid financing package for Egypt from the International Monetary Fund, emphasizing Egypt's ability to knock on the gates of financing institutions to boost these reserves in case future needs arise.

Source:Egypt Today

June 05, 2020 20:15 UTC

Egypt reports 1,348 new coronavirus cases, 40 deaths

Health Minister Hala Zayed checks precautionary measures as she receives Egyptians who returned from China’s city of Wuhan – Courtesy of the Health MinistryCAIRO, 5 June 2020: Egypt recorded 1,348 new coronavirus, COVID-19 cases, Friday, upping the total number of confirmed cases to 31,115.The Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed added in his daily briefing that 40 patients have died from the virus over the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 1,166.As many as 402 patients were discharged from isolation hospitals after receiving necessary medical care, taking the number of recovered cases to 8,158 so far, the spokesman said.Also, the number of coronavirus patients who had now been retested for the virus and had received negative results has reached 9,216, he addedEgyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed announced earlier on Friday, that the convalescent plasma transfusion experiment for patients with critical coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms has shown successful results.The plasma of some people who recovered from coronavirus has been injected into some patients who have shown critical symptoms, Zayed said, adding that plasma has also been provided to two hospitals.The experiment to inject convalescent plasma has contributed to reducing the need for ventilators and increasing the number of recoveries, Zayed said.She called on recovered people to donate plasma after 14 days from recovery, by visiting one of five blood donation centers allocated for such purpose, including one in Giza, in Greater Cairo and four in Alexandria and Tanta, in the northern part of the country, and Minya and Luxor in Upper Egypt.

Source:Egypt Today

June 05, 2020 18:33 UTC

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