UNDP, Savola Foods sign MoU to leverage impact investment and advance sustainable development in Egypt

August 23, 2022

In the picture: Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative and Mr. Sameh Hassan, Chief Executive Officer, Savola Foods signing the agreement, witnessed by H.E. Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation

UNDP/Ashraf Hamad

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Savola Foods to help advance Egypt’s Vision 2030 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and by focusing on climate change adaptation and food security. The MOU signature ceremony has been witnessed by H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation.

The long-term partnership agreement encompasses pillars of mutual support, where UNDP Accelerator Lab in Egypt and the Regional Innovations Center of Savola Foods’ joint efforts will focus on piloting innovative strategies in collaboration with national and international development agencies to help expand and improve sustainable and impactful practices in the food and agriculture sectors. Under the MoU, the partners will seek to apply the SDG Impact Standards and globally recognized Impact Measurement and Management practices.

Savola Foods Innovations Center will experiment the integration of climate-resilient crops like millet, quinoa and sorghum, within the manufacturing of wheat-based products, complying with the government’s agricultural development strategy on combatting the impact of climate change.

“With food security quickly becoming a global challenge, international partnerships are needed to curb the impact of successive global crises, ensuring self-sufficiency and resilience. Today, the MoU signed between the UNDP and Egypt’s Savola Foods aims to accelerate our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on food security through cooperation. This partnership also reflects the importance of private sector engagement in enhancing agricultural practices, particularly in light of climate change. The Government of Egypt is committed to working with our development partners and private sector in ensuring resilience and adaptation through innovative solutions, despite current global challenges,” said Minister of International Cooperation, H.E. Dr. Rania A. Al-Mashat.

“Egypt’s historical breadbasket, the Nile Delta has been classified as one of the world’s top three hotspots in terms of vulnerability to climate change. Adapting the agricultural sector to climate change is an especially high priority, and UNDP has been working closely with the government, experts and farmers to achieve this adaptation. Private sector has a key role to play in achieving the SDGs, including enhancing food security and adapting to climate change. We hope that our partnership with Savola Foods will inspire other key players to invest in positive environmental and community impact and long-term resilience, and to look at all their business processes through the lens of the universal agenda 2030. It very makes business sense, now and in the long run”, said Alessandro Fracassetti, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt.

Savola Foods, the leading company in wheat-based products across the region, will co-work with UNDP to bridge the gap that could exist in the future, as a result of the declining quantity of wheat yields which is expected to decrease by around 9% by 2030” said Sameh Hassan, CEO of Savola Foods. “Through the partnership, we will build a strategic approach to advise on a roadmap, upon which several activities are expected to kick off. On our end, Savola Foods will allocate key part of its R&D efforts & know-how whilst giving top priority to consumer insights in order to provide the end-users with a wide range of appealing & sustainable food commodities”, he added.

Furthermore, Hassan referred to Savola Foods as one of the biggest pasta manufacturers in the Middle East, with market share that exceeds 35% in the local Egyptian market; in addition, it is the biggest pasta exporter from Egypt to several countries in Africa & other Arab countries.

About UNDP:

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

UNDP’s Accelerator labs are present in 90 countries. Through their focus on experimenting and accelerated learning, they ensure that UNDP and its partners remain responsive, agile and risk informed.   

Learn more at eg.undp.org or follow at @UNDPEgypt.

 About Savola Foods:

Savola Foods is a leading company, owned by the Saudi “Savola Group”, which has distinguished itself with highly professional practices, managing a large portfolio of brands of premium food products like edible oils, vegetable ghee, sugar, pasta, seafood, nuts, spices, pulses and baked goods. Owning a group of the most famous brands in the region, Savola Foods has deservedly won the trust of millions of customers, thanks to its vegetable ghee products including; Rawaby, Ganna, Afia, Al-Arabi and Yudum oils, Al-Osra Sugar, Malika & Italiano Pasta. In addition, Savola Group owns 51% share of Al Kabeer Company and 34.5% share of Almarai Company. With a rich commercial portfolio, Savola Foods has expanded its exceptional products to cover more than 30 countries worldwide with its products.