With a growing population of 104.4 million, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, and an influential geopolitical actor in the region.
In line with Egypt’s Sustainability Development Strategy: Vision 2030, the country has transformed the design, delivery and scope of its national social protection programmes and the National School Feeding Programme to better support vulnerable groups.
While maintaining positive economic growth, Egypt faces a set of long-standing development challenges, including poverty, food insecurity, malnutrition, spatial and social disparity, and gender-based inequality, as well as climate shocks.
According to the 2022 Global Hunger Index, Egypt sustains a moderate level of hunger, ranking 57 out of 121 countries. Food affordability, quality and safety remain challenges as Egypt continues to rely on global markets for more than half of its staples. Malnutrition is another public health concern, with a 13 percent stunting rate, and 4 percent of children under 5 years of age being underweight.
Through the National Strategic Plan for Pre-University Education (2014-2030), the Government aims to achieve full coverage through its National School Feeding Programme, and to increase the nutritional value of school meals to meet 50 percent of student’s nutritional requirements.
Moreover, through the National Strategy for Women’s Empowerment 2030, the National Council for Women addresses key underlying challenges, including high education dropout rates and low women economic participation.
In line with government priorities and initiatives, the World Food Programme's (WFP's) work in Egypt emphasizes institutional support in social protection, food and nutrition security; innovation in development; rural communities' long-term resilience to climate change; and knowledge and technology transfer for South-South and triangular cooperation.
WFP programmes complement government efforts to assist vulnerable groups by securing basic food and nutritional needs; building resilience for improved livelihood, employability and recovery from economic shocks; and strengthening national institutional capacities to improve targeting of at-risk populations.
WFP works in partnership with the Government, other UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector partners, academia, and civil society organizations, to support those most in need.
What the World Food Programme is doing in Egypt
In line with the national school feeding programme, WFP provides nutritious, daily in-school snacks (fortified date bars) to community school children in Egypt’s poorest governorates. To further incentivize retention in schools and combat child labour and early marriage, WFP provides cash assistance for food to families of community schoolchildren. Together with partner Ministries, WFP also supports the advancement of digital education, through the use of digital tools and teacher training, as well as the economic inclusion of youth and women through entrepreneurial training, vocations skills development, and microloans.
Support to refugees and migrants
In coordination with other humanitarian organizations, WFP provides assistance to vulnerable refugees to help meet their basic food needs. This is done through cash assistance for food, nutrition support for pregnant and nursing women, and livelihood training to improve employment opportunities.
Under the ”First 1,000 Days" nutrition programme, WFP and the Ministry of Social Solidarity provide cash top-ups to pregnant and nursing women, under the national social protection programme “Takaful and Karama” (Solidarity and Dignity), to help secure good nutrition. WFP also provides technical support to national nutrition activities and awareness-raising campaigns.
WFP collaborates with the Government to strengthen smallholder farmers’ and Bedouin communities’ capacity to adapt to the effects of climate change and improve agricultural productivity. We do this through improved agricultural and irrigation practices, developing connections to markets, financial literacy and inclusion and cash-based transfers.
Country capacity strengthening
WFP provides technical and capacity-strengthening support to national institutions and governmental bodies, improving their capacity to adopt technological solutions in education and for the collection, management and analysis of information; strengthening supply chains; and improving regional and global knowledge-sharing.
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