WFP in Egypt celebrates long-standing partnership with the European Union

CAIRO – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the European Union (EU) today celebrated their five-year-long partnership in Egypt during which they have assisted more than 2.3 million people in collaboration with the Egyptian Government.

“Education is a key cornerstone to promote human empowerment and to prepare youth and especially young girls to become an active actor of the knowledge-based society. That is why I am proud of our partnership with the WFP and the Government of Egypt to support enhanced nutrition, food security and quality education for vulnerable children, in addition to combating child labour,” said Ivan Surkos, Ambassador of the European Union to Egypt.

A generous contribution of Euros 60 million (US$67.7 million) from the EU helped WFP provide assistance in 16 of the most vulnerable governorates in Egypt. Through the EU-funded project ‘Enhancing Access of Children to Education and Fighting Child Labour’, WFP and the Government of Egypt have helped address root causes of child labour by improving household food security, supporting sustainable livelihoods for mothers and access to education for children.

WFP rolled out the EU-finded project in 2014 in 16 governorates, mostly in Upper Egypt. The project targeted the entire family and not only children. While children received a daily snack at school, their families received monthly take-home food rations in return for the children’s regular attendance to compensate for the wage they would earn if sent out to work instead of going to school. WFP also supported families, particularly mothers, to start income generating activities or small businesses.

Mothers who benefited from the project through skills training and micro-loans are now proud owners of small businesses that have unleashed their potential and lifted their families out of poverty. They too attended the event and showcased their products.

WFP is grateful for the support of the Government and the EU in this growing partnership. Without generous contributions from donors like the EU, currently our largest donor in Egypt, much of this would not be possible, said WFP Representative and Country Director in Egypt Menghestab Haile. We look forward to building on this partnership to explore innovative and sustainable ways to assist the Government of Egypt in achieving Zero Hunger by 2030.

In alignment with national priorities and initiatives to reach out to vulnerable groups, the partnership is increasing its focus on children, youth and women in rural areas in Upper Egypt.

WFP has been in Egypt since 1968, working with the government to respond to humanitarian needs and tackle the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

Source: World Food Programme