Slums in Cairo- Nowhereman1977 - via Wikimedia Commons
CAIRO – 2 December 2018: After decades of hardships experienced by Egypt's slum-dwellers, Ministry of Housing has succeeded in developing around 80 percent of Egypt’s unsafe informal areas, declaring that Egypt will be a slum-free country by the end of 2019.
Khaled Siddiq, executive director of the Development Fund for Slums, said that Egypt will be declared a slum-free country by the end of 2019, referring that around LE 14 billion have been allocated until now for developing 80 percent of the slums.
Siddiq added that the total number of Egypt’s slums is 351 areas; 80 percent of which has been finished in the past four years and the remaining 20 percent will be developed by the end of 2019.
He further remarked that Port Said, Wadi El-Gedid, Fayoum, Menoufia and Suez will become slum-free cities by the end of 2018, pointing out that 215,000 housing units are targeted to be developed in these areas.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi has sought to tackle housing problems in Egypt, and a plan was set to develop many unsafe areas in Cairo, which has the majority of Egypt’s slums, and to re-house residents of Egypt’s most dangerous slums. The government divided the slums into two categories. The first is the dangerous slums; the government pledged to eliminate dangerous slums by the end of 2018.
In this regard, Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly witnessed on July 9 the signing ceremony of two cooperation protocols between Cairo governorate and the new Urban Communities Authority.
The protocols were signed by Cairo Governor Atef Abdel Hamid and Deputy Chairman of the NUCA Mazen Hassan, in the presence of Deputy Housing Minister Assemel-Gazzar and other officials to develop El-Mawardi area, Al-Sayeda Zeinab.
Gazzar said that the two parties agreed on developing the unsafe area of El-Mawardi, Al-Sayeda Zeinab, which stretches over an area of 3.35 feddans, explaining that the protocol comes within the framework of the development project of Tal Al-Aqareb area in Al-Sayeda Zeinab.
Gazzar explained that Cairo governorate’s vision aims to restore the city's vital role as Egypt’s capital, and focuses on evacuating some areas in Cairo to be able to develop and use these areas in cultural and urban activities.
In May 2016, President Sisi promised to move all those living in slums to new flats over three years as part of an ambitious project expected to cost about LE 14 billion ($790 million).
In the same context, the Tahya Misr (Long Live Egypt) Fund, launched by Sisi in 2014, has been working on a three-phase strategy to eliminate Egypt’s shantytowns and re-house slum residents, including those living in Doueyka, Establ Antar and Ezbet Khair Allah. The project includes 15,000 housing units to re-house 60,000 slum residents. The first two phases of Tahya Misr are comprised of 12,000 flats. The third phase opened in 2017 and is comprised of 20,000 flats.