Committee reveals progress on creating irregular worker database



Wed, 03 Aug 2022 - 02:40 GMT


Wed, 03 Aug 2022 - 02:40 GMT

FILE - Egyptian workers

FILE - Egyptian workers

CAIRO – 3 August 2022: The Irregular Workers Committee, having members from multiple ministries, announced Wednesday that the database has now two million individuals, which better facilitates the government's bid to expand the social safety network and formalize the informal sector.


Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine al-Qabaj had stated earlier in 2022 that the number of irregular workers in Egypt is 11.8 million contributing by 40 percent in the country's GDP.


Those are concentrated in the sectors of transportation, constructions, agriculture, fishing, baking, and pedestrian vending. However, only 2.1 million are registered at the ministry for social benefits.  


Amid the outbreak of COVID-19, financial aid was disbursed to registered irregular workers for six months, with the payment per month being LE 500. Moreover, they were offered accident/life insurance, whose value was first LE100,000 but was raised to LE200,000. the target number of beneficiaries has also been increased from 250,000 to 500,000 irregular workers.



The insurance covers permanent injury and death, and the sum varies according to the type of the consequence of the accident, whether it is partial disability, total disability, or loss of life.


In July, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi instructed adding one more million families to the monetary subsidies program 'Takaful wa Karama', and disbursing exceptional aid for nine million families for six months.


That was during a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli, Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali al-Moselhy, Minister of Interior Mahmoud Tawfik, Minister of Finance Mohamed Mait, and Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine al-Qabbaj.


The purpose of the meeting was following up on the measures taken and planned by the government to face the economic repercussions of the Russia-Ukraine War, and the lasting negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic.


The families to be added to the monetary subsidies program will make the total number of beneficiaries 20 million individuals. As for the exceptional aid, which will be worth LE billion per month in total, eligibility is limited to pensioners whose pension value is below LE 2,500 monthly, and public workers whose monthly income salary is less than LE 2,700.


The president made two other instructions, which are selling two million boxes of food staples monthly at half the price through the outlets of the Egyptian Armed Forces, and distributing free red meat all year long at a budget of LE 11 billion. The latter will be carried out by the Ministry of Social Solidarity, and the Ministry of Endowments.


As for the information presented by the ministers, Qabaj displayed the current status of bread subsidies, food staples, monetary subsidies, free medical services, pensions, social insurance, and subsidized housing. The budget allocated to those programs in FY2022/2023 amounted to LE 500 billion.


Further, Moselhy clarified that Egypt's stocks of grains and cooking oil are sufficient for seven months, noting that such capacity has been made possible by introducing silos that are equipped with advanced technology.


The government had declared in May adding 400,000 families, consisting of a total of 1.7 million individuals, to the monetary subsidies programme dubbed "Takaful and Karama" (Arabic for Solidarity and Dignity).


The programme started with 63,000 families in FY2015/2016, but had as beneficiary families by May 2021 a total of 3.4 million families.


Takaful wa Karama provides conditional family income support aimed at increasing food consumption, reducing poverty, while encouraging families to keep children at school and providing them with needed health care.

Along with ensuring that vulnerable families receive basic nutrition, the goal is to build the human capital of the next generation and give them a path out of poverty.

The program is "conditional", meaning that households receive a monthly transfer of LE 325 providing they are compliant with certain clearly defined requirements.


These include all household children should be aged 6-18 and have at least an 80 percent school attendance record, four visits per year to health clinics by mothers and children below the age of 6, where child growth monitoring records are maintained, and nutrition awareness sessions are attended.

The sessions help promote better child feeding practices, regular immunizations, and antenatal and postnatal care of women. Households are given additional support for every 0-6 year-old child (LE 60), primary stage student (LE 80), preparatory stage student (LE 100) and secondary stage students (LE 140).

The program covers a maximum of three children per household and reviews compliance of beneficiaries every three years.



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