CC via CDC/ Dawn Arlotta acquired from Public Health Image Library
CAIRO – 16 January 2018: Parliament Member Yousef el-Shazly suggested on Tuesday that the housekeeper job title shouldbe added in the national identification cards of female citizens working in households in order to includethem in the social safety net.
As these are low income citizens, they should enjoy benefits including pensions, free healthcare, subsidized housing and goods. These women currently do not have a job title in their national IDs.
The Social Solidarity Ministry is working on a unified insurance bill under which pensions should be calculated based on the average wage earned during years of service.
"Social insurance money amounted up to LE 755 billion in December," Social Solidarity Minister GhadaWalystated as she was speaking in an interview run by MENA board chairman and editor-in-chief Aly Hassan on Sunday.
"A committee of independent Egyptian experts is investing this money to yield the highest revenues,"Waly said, adding that less than two percent of the insurance money has beeninvested at the EGX and has made highest gains.
The minister also touched upon the Takaful and Karamaprogram that addresses the needs of more than two million families in 5,630 villages across Egypt.
Waly said that the ministry was able to reach out to those families in only three years and has since spent LE14 billion as part of the program. "The program provides cash subsidy for the families to help them meet their pressing needs or start micro-sized projects to ensure a fixed income,"Waly explained, noting that this will lead to improvingtheir living conditions before they eventually exit the program.
"Indeed, the Social Solidarity Ministry has received a loan from the World Bank to bankroll the program, but it constitutes less than 20 percent of the total funds allocated for the purpose,"Waly said, stressing that Egypt is keen on covering expenses of the program from the public budget.
"Egypt's Takaful program can very well be used as an important reference by neighboring countries,"Waly stated proudly.
"The Social Solidarity Ministry has also established a detailed electronic database of beneficiaries, the biggest ever in Egypt," the minister said, adding that it is being updated on a monthly basis.
She made it clear that applicants are asked to answer 92 questions before they are included in the program.
Social Solidarity Minister Waly said that a survey will be conducted next year to pinpoint the exact number of street children and compare them with figures of the last survey held by the National Center for Social and Criminal Researches in December of 2014.
She said that the ministry took several measures to address the problem of street children, including contributing LE 164 million to boost the NGOs operating in this field and provide an attractive atmosphere for those children to keep them away from streets.
She stressed that the ministry does not forcibly keep any child inside a foster care home because such a move contradicts with the Egyptian law that stipulates that no one can be held unless he or she has committed a crime.
Refuting allegations that the government is restricting the freedom of NGOs in Egypt, the minister stressed that the government has never blocked any funds to any civil society organization unless they were violatingEgyptian laws.
She said that the ministry made a database for all NGOs operating in Egypt to be able to follow up on their activities, funds channeled to them and the way they spend them.
Waly stressed that the ministry is on good terms with all NGOs in Egypt and cooperating with many of them to carry out development programs in Egypt.
Waly also made it clear that a new law regulating the work of the NGOs will be issued within weeks.
About the application of financial inclusion in social care programs, the ministersaid that financial inclusion is no more a tool to protect the poor but it is a main tool for developing banking and financial sectors.
Walyreferred to the ministry's cooperation with e-Finance company and social insurance offices to enable the pensioner to pay his electricity and natural gas consumption bills through his pension card.
She also cited the ministry's successful experiment with Nasser Social Bank (NSB) and the four mobile operators to allow divorced women to get their alimony payments through mobile devices. This experiment has been in place since October 29, 2017.
Alimony beneficiaries have to enroll their personal data in the Ministry of Social Solidarity to be eligible for obtaining the new mobile service.
The 2017 Egyptian census carried out by Egypt’s official statistics agency CAPMAS showed that the number of divorced people in Egypt reached 710,850 persons.
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