Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have launched on Sunday an economic empowerment project to enhance access for Egyptian youth and women to appropriate jobs with sustainable wages.
The ILO’s project, dubbed “Egypt Youth Employment: Economic Empowerment under Forsa Programme,” is funded by the Norwegian government.
The project is part of the social protection programme Forsa, launched by the ministry in 2017. Forsa mainly targets working age members of needy households included or almost included in the conditional cash transfer program Takaful wi Karama and disabled people.
Social Solidarity Minister Niveen El-Qabbaj, Director of the ILO office in Cairo Eric Oechslin, and Norwegian Ambassador to Egypt Lene Lind attended the signing ceremony of the project.
The Egypt Youth Employment: Economic Empowerment program seeks to enhance the capabilities of partner institutions and civil society organisations in fields related to youth and women empowerment, Nashwa Belal, director of the project said.
These fields include supporting freelance work for women and youth and empowering society to back entrepreneurship projects, Belal added.
El-Qabbaj, during the ceremony, affirmed the importance of expanding entrepreneurship activities and other income-generating activities for poor families as well as women and youth.
She said that women’s participation in the labour market certainly helps improve the life conditions of families financially and culturally.
El-Qabbaj referred to the ministry’s efforts to back needy families through providing cash support, securing job opportunities, and training that qualifies them for these opportunities.
“We have included economic empowerment in all of our programs, including in social protection for informal employment, the national program for family development, and the presidential program Hayah Karima (Decent Life),” the minister said.
She added that these efforts aim at improving the life conditions of the families and thus achieving noticeable progress in the local development indications.
ILO’s Oechslin expects the project to contribute to responding to the coronavirus’ economic and social impacts that affected many sectors of society.
Ambassador Lind affirmed Norway’s keenness to back the Egyptian government in enhancing economic development as part of its commitments to contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals.