Minister of Social Solidarity Neveen EL-Qabbaj
CAIRO - 12 Jun 2021: Under President Abdel Fattah El Sisi’s leadership over seven years, Egypt has witnessed development in certain files that rouched poor people and children.
“Over the past 7 years, there were tireless effort, determination and insistence that Egypt should be liberated from poverty gradually. President Sisi had a great care of some files, such as women's rights and the rights of people with disabilities, eradication of slums and providing safe housing […] besides the file of the development of rural village s,” said Minister of Social solidarity Nevean El Qabbaj in a roundtable discussion at Your El Sabea (Youm7) newspaper on Friday.
Over seven years, the pensions increased from LE 86.5 billion in 2014 to LE 282 billion in 2021, Qabbaj clarified, adding that President Sisi had launched Hayat Karima (Dignified Life) initiative and allocated EGP 500 billion to develop villages.
The initiative target improving life standards of citizens in 175 towns and 4,209 villages nationwide.
Qabbaj added that the president directed to provide academic students of families benefiting from cash support , in light of “Takaful and Karama" initiative, disbursement in cash. In addition to this, 5.5 million students benefiting from free education.
The Ministry of Social Solidarity disburses cash support to nearly 4 million families, including 14 million individuals, the Minister added, noting that the cash support budget has increased during the past 7 years by 500 percent, with increasing the number of families by 120 percent.
Cash support is disbursed to 1.4 million citizens with disabilities, in addition to rehabilitation services in care institutions and centers that reach more than 500,000 people with disabilities.
Within the framework of the Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) Program that was designed as a national targeted social safety-net mechanism to protect the poor through income support, Qabbaj said that the program targeted 9.3 million families, equivalent to 33.4 million citizens(one-third of the population).
Takaful and Karama conditional and unconditional cash transfer program is one of Egypt’s largest investments in human capital development. It was launched in 2015 with the support of a $400 million World Bank program.
A total of 25,000 nurseries nationwide that serve nearly one million children (aged between one year and 4) are subjected to the administration of the Social Solidarity ministry, said the minister, clarifying that only 14,800 nurseries are licensed, but President El-Sisi had directed to legalize unlicensed nurseries.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the nurseries were closed, but later 58 percent of the nurseries reopened, with a capacity of 75% of the children.
Egypt has provided more facilitations for broadening the area of fostering. In January 2020, Egypt allowed single women above 30 and divorcees to apply for caring and fostering orphanage children. The government said that higher education is not a binding condition for fostering.
Qabbaj said that the number of applicants submitted by families to foster orphans over the last 9 months reached 2,500 requests.
She added that the President agreed to provide housing units to those orphans after leaving the orphanage houses, besides providing them job opportunities.
The Ministry has proposed new amendments to the Child Law, allowing DNA fingerprinting for new born babies, in a way to protect children from denying their lineage.