Egypt and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) will partner to establish 1,300 community centres across the country by 2021, according to Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat.
The minister’s remarks came during a visit to Luxor Governorate, in which she inspected the Al-Fattatih School, a one-classroom smart school at the Al-Toud Centre in Luxor. The visit came in conjunction with the 75th anniversary celebrations of the UN, which has a strong development partnership with Egypt.
The Al-Fattatih School is one of the Ministry of Education Directorate’s smart community schools, implemented in partnership with the WFP.
Minister Al-Mashat said that the WFP supports these schools through a comprehensive package of educational and awareness-raising activities. The schools are designed as an integrated centre of knowledge for all members of the village in which the schools have been established, as well as raising the capabilities of mothers.
“A total of 2,309 women have received support and had their capabilities raised, with 569 receiving small loans,” the minister said, “So far, 57 schools have been opened in seven governorates, and we target the establishment of 1,300 community centres during 2021.”
Minister Al-Mashat referred to the vital role played by these smart schools in supporting the capabilities of children and their mothers, and to provide modern and interactive educational tools.
Luxor Governorate is the main supporter of the smart schools programme, in addition to the Education Directorate, which participates with the WFP in implementing various activities related to community schools.
The project is considered a model for cooperation between development partners and civil society organisations. The partnership provides schools with services relating to nutrition, teacher training, and providing lending opportunities for women, as well as a range of follow-up services for them.
The WFP also cooperates with a range of other partners as part of the project’s functions, including the Directorates of Agriculture, Health and Youth, in addition to Egypt’s National Council for Women (NCW), and the Ministry of Migration.
“We are proud to have been a strong partner of Egypt’s in implementing programmes that are aligned with the Country’s 2030 Vision,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt, Menghestab Haile, “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.”
Haile added, “For me, Luxor is not just the past, but also the future. This is why we established learning centres, as the knowledge that will be generated here will be shared to other regions such as Africa.”
In collaboration with the WFP, Egypt has been implementing several projects across different fields which have assisted millions of people since 1968.