“Economic development is a key challenge, and in order to achieve tangible outcomes, it has to be sustainable and inclusive and ensure decent jobs for all, especially for youth and women,” said Ivan Surkoš, Ambassador of the EU to Egypt. “The civil society plays an important role in this process and therefore we will continue to support them together with the private sector as key partners for the cooperation between the EU and Egypt within the framework of our Partnership Priorities,” he added.
The EU funded the Socio-Economic Development and Civil Society Support Programme with EUR 10 million. The programme aimed at supporting civil society for developing socio-economic interventions at grassroots level in the most disadvantaged areas of Egypt through sub-granting schemes.
The event brought together stakeholders and beneficiaries from the seven governorates covered by the programme (Alexandria, Assiut, Beheira, Beni Suef, Luxor, Qena and Sohag) to showcase their best practices implemented over the course of over three and a half years of implementation. The event presented as well examples of successful individual stories made possible through the cooperation between grassroots organizations, private sector, local communities and authorities.
The participants discussed how to promote women social and economic empowerment, youth civic participation and to build the grassroots organizations' capacities to support communities with the aim of contributing to inclusive sustainable development.
Through the project, the capacities of 471 grassroots organizations got further developed, thanks to the establishment of 214 partnerships. Over 500 rural communities and 5 urban settlements were reached benefiting nearly 150,000 people of which over 70% are women.
Women, youth and rural households had the opportunity to improve their living conditions thanks to income generation micro grants support, for instance for the establishment of poultry farms or the production of clothes. They also benefited from employment opportunities such as in the food treatment sector.
Additionally, the programme supported the beneficiaries by improving labour market skills, providing more advanced farming techniques also for the environment protection with the introduction of sugar canes recycling techniques. The beneficiaries acquired as well better knowledge on nutrition and family health care.