The plan aims to achieve agricultural development and build the capacities of rural communities through productive activities
The ministries of international cooperation, local development, agriculture, land reclamation and social solidarity discussed the action plan and proposed operational steps for expanding the World Food Program project to achieve agricultural and rural development, following the success of the first phase, which was implemented in 63 villages in five governorates in Upper Egypt.
Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, visited last September to inspect the examples of projects implemented in Luxor Governorate and to determine the results achieved, and then it was proposed to expand the application of these projects in other villages.
This came during a meeting held by Dr. Rania Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, in the presence of Major General Mahmoud Sharawi, Minister of Local Development, Nevin Al-Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, Mr. Al-Qusayr, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, and Mungstab Haile, Resident Representative of the World Food Program in Egypt and the Country Director, And officials of ministries and relevant authorities.
Al-Mashat reviewed the successful partnership with the World Food Program, through the country strategy for the period 2018-2023, which is based on key axes, including enhancing food security, developing agricultural and rural communities, and supporting the most needy groups in rural communities, such as girls, women, rural entrepreneurs, youth and small farmers.
She indicated that the second phase of the project is integrated with the presidential initiative, a decent life, which aims to develop and develop the villages most in need at the level of the Arab Republic of Egypt, by supporting the axis of investment in human capital in rural communities, by enhancing livelihoods and diversifying sources of income. With animal and poultry production projects, in-kind loans and handicrafts, improving the efficiency of the use of water resources, supporting farmers’ capacities to adapt to climate change, achieving economic and social empowerment of women and girls, and encouraging creativity and innovation through collaborative digital knowledge platforms in South-South countries.
The Minister of International Cooperation stated that by matching the projects funded by development partners with the sustainable development goals, the partnership with the World Food Program supports the achievement of the sustainable development goals, especially the first goal: poverty eradication, the second: complete elimination of hunger, the fourth: quality education, and the fifth : Gender Equality, Sixth: Clean Water and Sanitation, Eighth: Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Tenth: Reducing Inequalities.
Al-Mashat discussed the proposed action plan for the next stage at the level of identifying the appropriate villages and centers to expand the implementation of projects, noting that a committee will be formed that includes representatives from the relevant ministries and the World Food Program to discuss the precise details of the proposed plan and finalize its implementation, in addition to holding a coordinating cooperation platform. Joint to discuss funding sources through development partners.
Al-Mashat said that the World Food Program projects came in the context of the third principle of economic diplomacy, which is the narrative of international partnerships, which puts the citizen at the center of attention, and the ongoing projects, and the goal is the driving force, pointing out that the first phase of the project was a model for an economic and social system. Relevant parties are brought together, as it brought together development partners, the government sector and civil society under the umbrella goal of one goal, which is to develop rural and agricultural societies and achieve sustainable development.
Major General Mahmoud Shaarawy, Minister of Local Development, praised the efforts made by the World Food Program in terms of development projects in a number of Egyptian governorates, and the existing coordination between the two sides during the current period within the framework of the cooperation agreement signed between the ministry and the program.
He stressed the importance of the project to support rural and agricultural communities in cooperation with the World Food Program, because of the integration with the presidential initiative, a decent life, to develop villages in the Egyptian countryside and make them exemplary and integrated villages in all services of interest to citizens, especially infrastructure, sanitation and drinking water, and providing sustainable job opportunities for the Prime Time Zone of the villages. Of youth and breadwinner women, in implementation of the directives of the President of the Republic, within the framework of the projects carried out by other ministries of the government, such as lining canals, standardizing agricultural holdings and expanding modern irrigation methods.
The Minister of Local Development said that it is necessary to set criteria by which the target villages will be chosen to start this project and that there is a good description of their needs and benefit from the data currently available within the framework of the Decent Life Initiative and the Egyptian Countryside Program, pointing to the readiness of the Local Development Fund to provide loans with very simple interest. For the Prime Time Zone of these villages, especially farmers and women, to establish small and micro enterprises.
Shaarawy pointed to the possibility of benefiting from the economic blocs in Upper Egypt within the framework of the local development program in Upper Egypt to develop small and medium enterprises in them, given the job opportunities that these projects can provide for young Prime Time Zone and their direct impact on improving the income and living conditions of citizens working in these projects.
Al-Qusayr, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, said that the proposal submitted by the World Food Program to develop villages in the Egyptian countryside is consistent with the ambitious project of the Egyptian state to develop 1,500 villages.
He pointed out the need to focus on a specific number of villages most in need after determining the needs of these villages, especially with regard to establishing dairy collection centers, paying attention to value chains, digital extension, cooperative marketing, irrigation water rationing and in-kind lending, as well as setting up a mechanism for the implementation of these projects to facilitate their follow-up.
Al-Qusayr also welcomed the entry of some banks, such as Nasser Bank, in the agricultural lending process, especially in irrigation modernization projects, on the model of the Egyptian Agricultural Bank.
Mengstab Haile, the Resident Representative of the World Food Program in Egypt and the Country Director, praised the government coordination through the Ministry of International Cooperation, to implement the program’s projects in Egypt, noting that the country strategy through which the program works was prepared after careful discussions with the concerned authorities in the country, and it was achieved. Good results during the last period.
He said that the targeted expansions in the program to support rural communities and women aim to achieve economic and social empowerment of women, enhance livelihoods, improve water use efficiency, and other goals that support the achievement of development in the country.
The article, the government discussing expansion plans for WFP projects, was written in the Al-Borsa newspaper.