The government wants to protect the poorest people from the effects of the recently undertaken economic reforms, Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Waly said.
The ministry aims to apply the Karama and Takaful programmes across all governorates and villages before the end of current fiscal year, in accordance with instructions from the prime minister.
The ministry is considering the launch of a new programme to provide job opportunities for low-income citizens in various governorates. The ministry is coordinating with some civil society organisations for their participation in the launch of the programme.
“The ministry targets increasing the number of beneficiaries of the Karama and Takaful programmes to reach 1.7 million families during the current fiscal year,” Waly added. “The ministry currently cooperates with the ministries of agriculture and education to expand the school lunch programme by 100% this year.”
This programme currently covers only 30% of students in public schools.
Moreover, the ministry is working on expanding the 1m social housing units project, developing 250 ashwa’yat (informal housing areas) and the cash support programme provided to the poor.
The ministry is working to connect villages in different governorates with basic infrastructure, including sanitation, water, and gas networks, as well as developing the pension and insurance systems, according to Waly.
Minister of Supply Mohamed Ali El-Sheikh said that the economic decisions recently taken by the government will be offset by a package of terms and procedures to achieve social protection of the poor. The ministry has raised each cash subsidy card to cover EGP 21 instead of EGP 18.
The minister noted that it is the second time the government has increased the subsidy for these cards this year. The state budget for subsidies registers EGP 49bn.
The Ministry of Supply is working to allocate subsidies to more people who deserve them, in cooperation with the ministries of military production, planning, and social solidarity.
“The government subsidises bread at EGP 4bn per month,” added the minister. “The ministry is working to secure a six-month stock of strategic goods at an estimated cost of $1.8bn.”
The ministry signed a partnership with Sudan to supply Egypt with meat, amounting to 600,000 heads of cattle, for three years.
The government has supported farmers by raising the price of wheat from EGP 420 to EGP 450 per ardeb (equivalent to 150 kilograms), and raising the price of rice from EGP 2,000 to EGP 3,200 per tonne.