Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced that the Tahya Misr Fund will provide a EGP 80 million donation to the new EGP 100 million investment fund for people with special needs announced today by the minister of social solidarity.
The celebration, which was held in New Cairo's Al-Manara Convention Centre, was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali, a large numbers of Egyptians with disabilities – including award-winning athletes – and their families, as well as ministers, public officials and celebrities.
The event was co-hosted by professional swimmer Rahma Khaled, who earlier this month became Egypt's first TV presenter with Down Syndrome.
Egypt has designated 2018 the year of persons with special needs, who are estimated at 10 million of Egypt's 104 million population.
“Every citizen should pay a part of every pound he earns for [people with special needs]. I call on the parliament and the government to issue a decision to deduct money for the new fund,” El-Sisi said, adding that the ministry of religious endowments has already contributed EGP 20 million.
Surrounded by a number of children and athletes with special needs on the podium, El-Sisi said he would not miss the celebration, adding that he is sure the viewers share his sense of "love, compassion, and gratitude."
“I want to tell you that the blessing we are in is because of them and their parents, who support them day and night, and wish them a decent life,” El-Sisi said, adding that God protects and preserves the country for the sake of people with disabilities.
“For them, please protect our country from all evil,” El-Sisi said.
El-Sisi said that he is addressing people with special needs as a "main component in developing the country through their achievements in different fields."
The president also highlighted the government's efforts in aiding citizens with special needs in the areas of sports, housing, and health, among others.
El-Sisi called on the government to prepare a comprehensive survey on people with special needs in Egypt, including their numbers and the type of disabilities.
The president also called on the media to raise awareness about the issues or problems they might face in society; and provide interfaces that are friendly for them.
“My sons and daughters, the challenges faced by Egypt, big and small, should only be an incentive for you to exert more efforts for empowerment and integration,” El-Sisi said.