Solidarity Minister: Poverty rates declined in Egypt 2019/2020 despite Corona

Solidarity Minister: Poverty rates declined in Egypt 2019/2020 despite Corona
Solidarity Minister: Poverty rates declined in Egypt 2019/2020 despite Corona

Dr. Nevin Al-Kabbaj, Minister of Social Solidarity, participated in the work of the 76th session of the Executive Office of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs in the State of Jordan, where she confirmed that Arab countries are witnessing various economic, social and cultural transformations and changes, especially in recent years due to regional crises and changing political conditions that cast a shadow on reality. Economic and social, which poses a challenge to sustainable development efforts, stressing the continuation of commitment to diligent work in order to achieve the lofty goals of the Council of Arab Ministers of Social Affairs, and in a way that supports joint Arab action.

The minister said that the issues and challenges imposed by the Corona pandemic require more cooperation and coordination between Arab countries to deal with the economic and social reality and sustainable development efforts in the Arab world.

The minister said that Egypt is keen to strengthen relations in all fields with its Arab brothers, especially with regard to safety nets and social protection, which play a key role in protecting social and economic stability, by making available the Egyptian experience in the field of developing and modernizing social protection networks to benefit from them in the Arab world. All of these crises are thanks to its adoption of a comprehensive economic and social reform program, the expansion of social protection networks, and the provision of unprecedented financial aid to irregular employment to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on these groups.

She added that combating poverty in all its forms and improving social conditions was the focus of the discussions she held during her participation in the 76th regular session of the Executive Council, which was attended by ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Algeria and Yemen, and Ambassador Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States, as part of the efforts of the Arab League. To prepare and prepare for the next regular Arab summit to be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the month of December.

Al-Kabbaj explained that the situation of multidimensional poverty was discussed before the pandemic, as the Arab report for 2017 showed that the poverty rate in ten Arab countries, which includes about 75% of the region’s population, reached 41%, of whom 13.4% live in extreme poverty and that there are nine years separating us from a year 2030, the year of achieving the goals of the sustainable development plan, at a time when the countries of the region are facing these multiple challenges.

Al-Kabbaj indicated that Egypt is one of the few countries that achieved positive economic growth amid the pandemic, and poverty rates declined to 29.7% in 2019/2020, compared to 32.5% in 2017/2018 as a result of enhancing investment in human capital, providing basic services and expanding coverage for the most vulnerable groups.

She explained that Egypt applies three methodologies to deal with poverty, the first of which is the welfare state approach, the economic empowerment approach to deal with less severe cases of poverty, and the investment approach in social capital, where experts agree that the only way to reduce poverty is to adopt a strategy that achieves high rates of economic growth. It improved the ability of the most vulnerable groups to access social services, with attention to unemployment issues, especially long-term unemployment among young people.

On other issues addressed by the meetings, she referred to the Arab ministers’ discussion of providing support and relief to three Arab countries, Palestine, Somalia and Yemen, and the developments of social policies currently adopted by Arab countries, in addition to reviewing the new Arab report to combat poverty.

On the sidelines of the Executive Council meetings, the Minister of Social Solidarity held bilateral meetings with the ministers of social development in Jordan and Algeria. Al-Kabbaj said that her meeting with the Jordanian Minister of Social Development Ayman Al-Mufleh dealt with cooperation activities between the two ministries and efforts to enhance social protection for the citizens of the two countries, especially that there are more than one million Egyptians. They work in Jordan, where it was agreed that a Jordanian delegation would visit Cairo next month, headed by the Jordanian Minister of Labor and representatives of the Social Security Corporation, to complete the discussions, as we hope to develop bilateral cooperation in the field of social protection.

She said that she also reviewed with the Jordanian minister the mechanism for reviewing and updating the cash support and disability systems, the national strategy for the care of alternative families, and the experience of Egypt and Jordan in this field, as well as a presentation of the support programs, whether in kind or cash, provided by the Jordan National Aid Fund, the most important of which are the daily day labor support programs ) and programs to rehabilitate and retrain her on the professions most in demand to integrate them into the labor market, and to learn about the Jordanian experience in maternity care, such as the experience of maternity insurance and social care programs for the mother after the end of the childbirth period, as well as support for nurseries, whether by supporting the financial cost that the mother pays to put her children in That role or in connection with supporting the operating expenses of that role itself.

Al-Kabbaj revealed the agreement that Cairo will organize a joint exhibition for productive families in both Egypt and Jordan in February 2022, which will include exhibitors from the two countries in the field of heritage products and the environment, within the framework of marketing, support for the most favored groups and their economic empowerment.

Regarding the Minister of Solidarity’s meeting with Kawthar Kriko, Minister of National Solidarity, Family and Algerian Women’s Issues, Al-Kabbaj explained that the meeting reviewed the efforts and initiatives of Egypt and Algeria to confront the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, whether on the social, health or economic levels, as well as developing services provided to the first-care groups, the elderly and people with disabilities. Disability, protecting divorced women, expanding the base of beneficiaries of in-kind and cash support programs for poor families, mechanisms of economic empowerment for women, housing support for disadvantaged groups, Algeria’s experience in digitizing the unified national card for citizens, the Rural Construction Support Fund, and a mechanism for linking cash support program beneficiaries to the national registry.

At the end of the meeting, Kabbaj invited the Algerian minister to visit Egypt in the first half of next November to complete the discussions, as it was agreed to prepare a memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the two brotherly countries in these fields.

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