‘Two are enough’: Gov’t bid to control increasing population

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Sat, 23 Jun 2018 - 01:46 GMT

Social Solidarity Ministry, Ghada Wali - Press Photo

Social Solidarity Ministry, Ghada Wali - Press Photo

CAIRO – 23 June 2018: The Ministry of Social Solidarity launched Wednesday a family planning campaign with the slogan “Two are Enough”, aiming to contain the phenomenon of overpopulation.

President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has said population growth is “a challenge as critical as that of terrorism.” The campaign targets to reduce the birth rate to 2.4, targeting rural areas where many view large families as a source of economic strength and resist birth control believing that it is un-Islamic.

The minister of social solidarity pointed out that the project will be implemented through 100 NGOs selected from a technical committee that included experts in various fields. These organizations were selected from 250 NGOs that requested to participate in the implementation of the project. They were evaluated to assure their technical, financial and administrative performance.

Fayez Barakat, a member of the Egyptian Parliament’s education committee, said to Egypt Today that this campaign will affect “positively” the education operation. It will help in containing population growth in accordance with the economic growth and thus the country will be able to provide a better level of education and provide employment opportunities for graduates.

The Egyptian population hit 104.27 million both domestically and abroad, according to the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics’ (CAPMAS) latest census in 2017. Those living inside the country amount to 94.8 million, while expats are estimated at 9 million, according to statistics from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministry of Health and Population, headed by Ahmed Emad El-Din Rady, launched a new program on May 10 for family planning in Egypt in cooperation with USAID to respond to Egypt’s rapid population growth.

The program aims to improve citizens’ health behavior and support the quality of family planning services and reproductive health, Soaad Abdel Megid, head of the Population and Family Planning Sector, said.

She added that an electronic program will be established to register the beneficiaries of the program, implement a distance learning model, design a family planning program and reproductive health curriculum in medical and nursing schools, and involve the private and public sectors in providing the service.

USAID will provide technical assistance and training to the Ministry of Health and Population to strengthen its Family Planning and Reproductive Health Program. Activities will help increase demand for family planning services and enhance the quality of services, aiming to improve contraceptive use and reduce fertility over time. The five-year, $19 million program will be implemented in nine governorates in Upper Egypt and areas of Cairo and Alexandria, the U.S. embassy in Cairo stated on Saturday.

“We know that USAID family planning programs have made tremendous impact in the past. We stand poised again to be a part of the solution to the rapid growth in Egypt’s fertility rate,” USAID Egypt Mission Director Sherry Carlin said at the program launch.

Egypt’s Family Planning Program (SEFPP), a five-year, USAID-funded activity, in cooperation with the U.S. John Snow Research and Training Institute, aims to create sustainable solutions that will help address Egypt’s growing population by increasing the use of family planning methods and promoting healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies. Project implementation is focused on the nine governorates of Upper Egypt and the slums of Cairo and Alexandria.

For nearly 40 years, USAID has worked with Egypt on projects related to healthy behaviors, family planning, nutrition, immunization and disease prevention activities.

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