Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala El-Said held discussions with World Bank (WB) representatives, on Wednesday, on the local development programme for Upper Egyptian governorates.
The virtual discussions took place in the presence of El-Said, who sits as Vice-Chairperson of the Facilitating Committee for the Local Development Program in Upper Egypt that oversees the development programme. Urban Development Specialist at the WB Mohamed Nada and Jade Salhab, a senior private sector development specialist at the WB, were also present in the meeting.
The minister asserted that the Egyptian government is prioritising this programme as it provides an integrated model for local development that helps achieve the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
El-Said said that the Local Development Program in Upper Egypt Governorates was able to achieve great success on the ground. She also referred to the World Bank’s praise for the work that has been completed in the governorates of Qena and Sohag.
The minister added that the government is providing support for employees who are at high risk due to the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis in various governorates, particularly Qena and Sohag.
El-Said clarified that the state is building a database of workers affected by the pandemic, in order to provide them with the necessary support.
Nada added that the Local Development Program in Upper Egypt Governorates was started in 2018 with investments of $500m in finances. The programme is set to run over five years, focusing on development work in Sohag and Qena governorates. He stressed that the programme seeks to attract investments to the two governorates, and to create job opportunities in Upper Egypt.
Similarly, Salhab highlighted the importance of the private sector’s participation in the programme, to improve the infrastructure and quality.
“Private sector contribution will effectively help in creating more job opportunities and attracting further investments to these promising governorates,” she added.
On a different note, El-Said revealed new that an interactive tool has been launched to evaluate government services. The “Evaluate Your Services” tool will allow citizens to give feedback on different services provided by the authorities.
“This system contributes to identifying the Egyptian citizen’s satisfaction with the state’s services, and it also helps the decision-maker in the process of developing those services,” El-Said said.