Egypt has expanded its partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat has announced.
The recent expansion will support the capabilities of 280,000 small farmers in 64 villages in Luxor Governorate, as well as four other governorates in Upper Egypt
With the added support on board, the total number of beneficiaries under the small farmer resilience programme will rise to one million farmers located in 500 villages by 2023.
This support includes the introduction of modern irrigation systems ensure environmentally friendly water usage, as well as the launch of early warning systems. It will focus on tested crops that can withstand high temperatures, whilst supporting farmers’ capacities to increase livestock and poultry production.
Minister Al-Mashat’s remarks came during her recent visit to Luxor, during which she inspected several development projects implemented by the WFP. The projects were set up in the fields of agricultural and rural development, as well as women’s economic empowerment, all of which reflect positively on achieving sustainable development.
The minister was accompanied by the Luxor Governor Mustafa Mohamed Khaled, the WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt Menghestab Haile, as well as a delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation.
The high-level visit to the area saw Minister Al-Mashat meet with farmers and women entrepreneurs, who described how the programmes have had a direct and real human impact on their lives.
“Concerted efforts are needed to push forward with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the sustainable development of agriculture being a central pillar in this endeavour,” Minister Al-Mashat said, “Together with the WFP, we are focusing on ensuring food security going into the future and empowering communities to build for a resilient and green economy.”
The minister also heard the experiences of young women and girls enrolled in the She Can initiative, a joint programme between Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity and WFP. Under the initiative, Egyptian women receive entrepreneurship training, and are provided with concessional micro-loans to start their own income-generating projects, whilst encouraging families to continue supporting their children’s education.
“We are proud to have been a strong partner of the Government of Egypt in implementing programmes that are aligned with the country’s Vision 2030,” Haile said, ”As a result of this solid collaboration, we are able to scale up successful integrated development models to assist more communities in need, especially at such difficult times resulting from the COVID-19 crisis where more and more people are becoming vulnerable.“
In collaboration with the WFP, Egypt has been implementing several projects across different fields which have assisted millions of Egyptian citizens since 1968.