The European Union (EU) granted €30m worth of funding to support the “Expanding Access to Education and Protection of at Risk Children” programme.
The official signing of the agreement took place Thursday morning at the Ministry of International Cooperation’s premises in Giza, between James Moran, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, and Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.
Among the attendees were Minister of Education El-Helaly El-Sherbeeny and Hala Mabrouk, Secretary General of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM).
The total estimated budget for the project is €36.15m, with the EU being the largest financial contributor to the programme. It will be implemented by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF, the NCCM, along with an important group of national and local partners.
Moran told Daily News Egypt that the first phase of funding will be injected starting “now, with the signature of the agreements”. The exact period of implementation will be between three to four years, he added.
The main purpose of the programme is to provide greater access to “primary quality community based education to children in the age group 6 to 14”.
“I’ve said this too many times and I’ll say it again. The EU wants this country to succeed and it is not going to succeed if it doesn’t invest in basic public services and its children, and that’s essentially what we’re trying to do here today,” Moran said.
The EU’s contribution to the programme will help establish 1,200 community schools in “disadvantaged” Egyptian governorates. Furthermore, the project shall ensure the inclusion of 6,000 disabled children by equipping 200 public schools. Those schools will benefit from an upgraded quality of teaching and a better school environment that will in turn help in aiding 100,000 children attending those schools.
“That is good and civilised and in line with the new Egyptian constitution,” Moran said, referring to the outcomes of the programme.