UNGC Honors Egyptian SDG Pioneer Hanaa Helmy

CAIRO, Oct. 10 (SEE)- The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) initiative honored Hanaa Helmy, the Chief Executive Officer of the EFG Hermes Foundation and head of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), for being named one of the 10 Social Development Goals (SDGs) Pioneers in 2018.

Mr. Mohamed Al-Fouly, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network in Egypt, handed Helmy a shield in recognition of her achievements amid a ceremony at the Four Seasons Nile Plaza hotel in Cairo. He remarked that during the World Leaders Summit at the United Nations, Helmy and nine other pioneers were chosen out of 150 candidates from 133 countries.

Helmy expressed her gratitude for being named one of the pioneers pointing out that this award is a recognition of the efforts made by the EFG Hermes in collaboration with the EFG Hermes Foundation. 

She stated that, “The company has successfully implemented its vision to achieve the SDGs, thanks to the innovative ideas of our team of employees and volunteers who have spared no effort to achieve these goals. We are fortunate to have the full support of EFG Hermes,” elaborating that the management “has the task of integrating the sustainability objectives into all the activities and operations of the company.”

The pioneer revealed to ‘SEE’ that she was surprised for being nominated and selected as one of the SDG pioneers as her team secretly applied on her behalf to the UN Global Compact initiative. She said: “l now have a greater responsibility towards the UN Global Compact in Egypt.”

Al-Fouly noted that the SDGs tackle 17 different issues including; ‘No Poverty,’ ‘Zero Hunger,’ ‘Climate Action,’  ‘Quality Education,’ ‘Clean Water and Sanitation,’ ‘Partnerships’ and others. He stressed that an effective cooperative triangle between the government, civil society and private sector is essential to fulfill the SDGs.

At her early stages, Helmy had a belief that neglecting human rights does not result in the desired investment impacts noting that “It is as if you put a bandage on a wound without curing it.” Thus, she was motivated to adopt holistic approaches along her career path.

Helmy has been active in circulating the organization’s holistic approach of sustainable development through educating internal stakeholders and overseeing the growth of its projects and partnerships.

The EFG Hermes Foundation contributes a number of developmental projects to the Egyptian society with a strategy built on incorporating more than one SDG into their plan of action. Project ‘Ro’ya’ that transformed ‘Ezbet Yacoub’ community in ‘Beni Sweif’ Governorate, for example, had nine SDGs implemented it including; ‘No Poverty,’ Zero Hunger’ and ‘Clean Water and Sanitation.’

Other focuses of the foundation are empowering youth, eliminating diseases and micro-financing women.

EFG Hermes has joined the UN Global Compact in 2011, and since then it has aligned its social investment efforts with the UN goals. In 2018, the company became the first Egyptian financial firm to sign the UNPRI agreement that aligns investors to incorporate UN principles of responsible investment into their core business. 

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