Egypt's Minister of International Cooperation leads visit to WFP projects in Luxor
Minister Rania El Mashat began her visit in El-Boghdadi village where she met with smallholder farmers. The village is one of 64 villages in Upper Egypt assisted through a Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MALR) and WFP joint project. This successful partnership between WFP and MALR is helping smallholders face climate shocks, promotes the use of water saving techniques and using other innovative solutions. Project participants have increased their incomes by 45% and the project is expanding to reach 1 million farmers in 500 villages by 2023.
The Minister was accompanied by the Governor of Luxor, WFP’s Representative and Country Director in Egypt as well as a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
"Listening to the stories told by the farmers and women entrepreneurs manifests the real human impact these programmes are achieving. Concerted efforts are needed to push forward with the United Nations SDGs, with the sustainable development of agriculture being a center pillar in this endeavor," said Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, H.E Dr Rania Al-Mashat. “Together with WFP, we are focusing on ensuring food security going into the future and empowering communities to build for a resilient and green economy.”
The field mission also included a visit to El-Fatatih community school in El-Toud district, Luxor. This one-room, multi-grade school provides quality primary education for exceptionally vulnerable children aged 6-14 who would otherwise not be attending school. This is the first “smart community school” in Luxor acting as an integrated centre for knowledge to all village members.
Over the past year, the Ministry of Education (MOE) in partnership with WFP, has been transforming community schools into hubs by connecting them to the internet and providing tablets and other equipment to provide children and their families with an innovative learning experience and knowledge sharing platform. To date, 57 community hubs have been established in 7 governorates in Upper Egypt with a plan to scale up to 1300 community hubs by 2021.
The Minister also met with several women who shared their life changing experience through She Can initiative, a joint programme between the Ministry of Social Solidarity and WFP, where women are trained on entrepreneurship and are provided with concessional micro-loans to start their own income generating projects in an effort to encourage families to keep their children in schools.
“We are proud to have been a strong partner of the Government of Egypt in implementing programmes that are aligned with the Country’s 2030 Vision,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt Menghestab Haile. “As a result of this solid collaboration, we are able to scale up successful integrated development models to assist more communities in need, especially at such difficult times resulting from the COVID-19 crisis where more and more people are becoming vulnerable.“
WFP is the sole UN agency in Egypt providing food security to the most vulnerable populations and continues to count on the contributions of donors to sustain and upscale assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Egypt throughout its COVID-19 response and recovery phases.
# # #
The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.