World Food Programme Chief pledges support to Egypt's National Development Goals
CAIRO – The Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (WFP) David Beasley has ended a three-day visit to Egypt where he visited WFP operations in villages close to the county’s historic town of Luxor in Upper Egypt.
Beasley ended his visit with a meeting with the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The WFP chief said he was committed to supporting Egypt’s objectives of inclusive and sustainable development as outlined in Egypt Vision 2030.
“Egypt is in an extraordinary position to impact the world and provide leadership on food security progress around the world and in this region,” said Beasley. “If Egyptians can build the pyramids, they can do anything.”
In 2018, WFP – in partnership with the government – provided assistance to nearly three million people, mostly in remote and rural areas in Egypt. WFP is implementing climate change interventions, awareness and nutrition projects, as well as school feeding and other initiatives so that communities may become more self-reliant.
At the heart of WFP’s development package for Egypt is educational support through school feeding. This benefits more than one million children in nine governorates across the country. This is WFP’s largest school feeding programmes in the world.
On Saturday, Beasley visited El-Fatatih community school in El-Toud district, Luxor, where he met children, teachers, and mothers who are receiving training and using micro-loans to increase their incomes. This one-room, multi-grade school provides quality primary education for exceptionally vulnerable children aged 6-14 who would otherwise not be attending school. The establishment is under the supervision of the Ministry of Education.
In Egypt, WFP is supporting 4,700 community schools serving approximately 124,000 students, of which more than 80 percent are girls – most are in Upper Egypt.
The UN food agency’s chief also visited an agricultural project in El-Boghdady village in Luxor. El Boghdadi is one of 53 communities where WFP is helping smallholders to minimize their crop losses and to increase their yields through land consolidation, technical support and providing them with better seed varieties. The initiative covers the entire family, providing women with loans to finance off-farm activities such as animal keeping and agro-processing
“WFP projects are designed with not only families but with whole communities in mind,” Beasley said. “These projects show WFP’s determination to leave no one behind, especially women. Thanks to the hard work the smallholder farmers are doing with our support, I envision a day when WFP is no longer needed, because the entire community — including women and girls — are completely self-sufficient.’’
WFP has been in Egypt since 1968, working with the government to respond to humanitarian needs and tackle the underlying causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition in the country. A particular focus is on the prevention of chronic malnutrition among children in the first 1,000 days of their lives as well as among pregnant and nursing women.
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