Results around the world – Egypt
Egypt is a low-middle-income country and the most populated Arab country in the Middle East. It ranks 111 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Programme’s 2016 Human Development Index. The country has made significant progress in the past 30 years, including on child mortality, life expectancy, primary and secondary school enrolment, as well as literacy rates. A rapidly growing population, limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile all continue to overburden resources and stress society.
The government has struggled to absorb the rapidly growing population and labour force and meet the demands of Egypt’s population through various reform programs. However, in November 2016, Egypt negotiated a US$12-billion loan with the International Monetary Fund after having implemented some economic reforms. These reforms, along with a gradual restoration of confidence and stability, are starting to yield positive results, with the economy slowly improving. Nonetheless, poverty and inequality levels remain high and have serious implications for security, stability and democracy. Egypt has also been affected by the crisis in Syria and continues to host over 129,000 registered refugees.
Canada has been an active development partner with the Government of Egypt, non-governmental organizations and the private sector since 1976. Canada’s current development assistance programming in Egypt is closely aligned to Egypt’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030, which lays out a long-term sustainable development strategy to create employment through economic reforms, stimulate investment and promote private sector participation in the economy.
To meet the needs of Egypt’s growing population, Canada has contributed development assistance in the areas of education and support for skills development and job creation, in line with the Growth that Works for Everyone action area of the Feminist International Assistance Policy, focusing on vulnerable groups such as women, youth and persons with disabilities. In line with the Feminist International Assistance Policy’s Human Dignity action area, Canada has also supported the efforts of the Government of Egypt and host communities to mitigate the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis.
Through the Aswan Skills Development Program, implemented by the Aga Khan Foundation Canada, 1,412 youth (617 males and 795 females) were trained and more than 5,000 youth were reached by means of outreach and awareness-raising events on Egyptian Women’s Day and through jobs and careers, financial linkages and specific training programs.
Save the Children International, Plan International Canada, and CARE Canada supported public and community schools to meet educational needs by making renovations, providing materials, improving students’ learning environment, mainstreaming of gender and water, sanitation and hygiene standards, supporting child participation and social cohesion mechanisms, and increasing the capacity of school staff and Ministry of Education representatives.
The World Food Programme supported Syrian and Egyptian primary students in four governorates by providing food assistance to 295,822. Assistance included the provision, to children in schools, of date bars fortified with vitamins and minerals—which provide children with 25% of their daily nutritional needs—improvements to the school learning environment, and awareness-raising activities. These have helped to reduce short-term hunger, improved concentration and increased nutrient intake.
Canada is supporting Egypt in addressing acute youth unemployment through the Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People project, implemented by the International Labour Organization (ILO). Youth capacity-building activities were conducted through a number of ILO toolkits on women in business, entrepreneurial skills and job searching. As a result, some 12,000 young people completed training in 2017-2018 and gained resources to find fair and productive jobs. The project also reached an agreement with Egypt’s National Council for Women to roll out training across the country.
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