The presidential “A Decent Life” initiative is a turning point for villages across Egypt, according to Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development.
El-Said also said that the initiative aims to improve the standard of living for Egyptians living in villages, whilst also improving the level of public services.
These improvements would cover sanitation, drinking water, and road drainage, as well as improving classroom density and educational services.
The initiative also targets the improvement of health care coverage, increasing the numbers of youth and sports centres, and integrating work for small projects.
The minister’s statements came during a seminar held by Cairo University’s Faculty of Economics and Political Science. The seminar was attended by Dr Mohamed Othman El-Khasht, Head of Cairo University, and a group of the university’s elite university professors and academics.
“President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi directed for the government to implement the initiative within three to four years, covering 4,500 villages,” El-Said added.
The minister noted that when developing the plan, efforts were focused on 50 centres that would be able to provide services to 55 million citizens in 20 governorates over the next three years.
She said that, with the completion of work on 375 villages this year, the coverage rate will be 17% of the population. The initiative will, next year, reach 35%, and up to 57% in fiscal year (FY) 2023/24.
“A survey was conducted to understand the needs of these villages, and showed that 68.8% of villages require paving roads and bridges, 63.1% of villages require the establishment of a sewage network, 53.1% of villages require basic schools, and 30.5% of villages require the establishment of a youth centre,” the minister revealed, “Additionally, 22.3% of villages require literacy classes, 21.9% of villages require the establishment of bakeries, and 27.9% of villages require the establishment of a cultural club.”
In the initiative’s first phase, 225 medical centres were implemented, El-Said added, as the focus is on the governorates that need health services.
Concerning educational services, El-Said pointed to the availability of educational services in three deprived villages, the eradication of illiteracy among 3,000 citizens, and the completion of eight nurseries.
El-Said noted that the density of classes in the targeted villages decreased to 41 children, compared to 47 children after the establishment of 942 classrooms.
The minister pointed out an improvement in the rate of sanitation coverage by about 64 percentage points in the targeted villages, and the completion of the construction on 46 sanitation projects.
El-Said added that loans worth about EGP 896m were provided, along with about 123,000 job opportunities in the targeted villages.