Egypt helping families of Egyptian IS hostages in Libya: Minister
Ahram Online, , Saturday 14 Feb 2015
Egypt's prime minister on Friday promised a monthly benefit of LE1,200 to the families of Egyptian workers kidnapped by Islamic State in Libya

Egypt's Minister of Social Solidarity Ghada Wali said the ministry had started procedures to give monthly benefits to the families of 21 Egyptians kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) militants in Libya, Egypt's state news agency MENA reported.

Egyptian prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab said in a press conference on Friday that a pension of LE1,200 would be issued to the families of the kidnapped.

Undated photos, published in the latest edition of a magazine issued in January and affiliated to IS, showed captive workers handcuffed and wearing the orange-colored jumpsuits often donned by Islamic State (IS) prisoners about to be executed.

Wali further said social workers were talking to the families to identify their current "needs”.

Before 2011, around 1.5 million Egyptians lived and worked in Libya, sending home annual remittances worth around $33 million, according to estimates from the International Organisation for Migration.

Premier Mahlab met with the families of the kidnapped on Friday, after they travelled to Cairo from Upper Egypt's Minya governorate early on Friday to protest the government's perceived inaction on the case.

Egyptian authorities have not revealed any new information about the kidnappings.

They are however following the situation closely, Mahlab said on Friday.