1st stage of Decent Life initiative to conclude by December: Madbouly

Ahram Online , Monday 1 Aug 2022

Egypt's Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said on Monday that the first stage of the Decent Life Initiative, which comprises a series of countryside-focused national infrastructure projects, will be concluded by December of this year.

screenshot of Egyptian prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly during the press conference

Madbouly said that the project’s initial phase was set to be completed by 30 June 2021, but a reschedule was necessary due to the delay in delivery of raw materials and equipment from abroad owing to the current global circumstances.

The Decent Life national project (Hayah Karima in Arabic) was initiated experimentally in 2019 by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and its first phase was officially launched in July 2021. The project aims to improve standards of living, infrastructure, and basic services including healthcare across the countryside.

The project covers 4,658 villages across the country, which are home to 58 percent of Egypt’s 102 million population, with an estimated budget of EGP 700 billion. The enormous volume of work needed to develop the 4,500 villages required the initiative to be divided into three stages comprising 1,500 villages each.

However, the prime minister asserted that the country gives priority to the presidential initiative despite the current circumstances, saying "the project achieves several objectives that we can't give up on."

Madbouly made his remarks during a press conference after going on an inspection tour of a number of Decent Life affiliated projects in the Nile Delta's Beheira governorate.

Madbouly said that over 4,320 projects are being implemented in the coastal governorate at a total cost of EGP 80 billion, in addition to some 8,886 projects affiliated with the Decent Life Initiative at a total cost of EGP44 billion – a combined cost of EGP 124 billon across Beheira governorate.

The decent life projects cover six centres and 42 local units in the governorate with up to 3,900 villages, he said.

He noted that these projects are a model for the development work taking place in all the country's 27 governorates.

"There is no governorate in Egypt that does not have national ventures aimed at raising the standard of living of its residents," he stressed.

Austere scenario

When asked about how the government is dealing with the current global economic crisis, Madbouly assured that the government has adopted "a proactive approach", saying "we are taking the conservative, or the austere, scenario."

The government earmarked a large allocation of the 2022/2023 budget for emergencies in anticipation of any further increases in fuel and product prices, Madbouly clarified.

Furthermore, up to 20 percent of Egyptians will be receiving cash transfers after the recent expansion of the social safety net program Takaful and Karama, Madbouly said.

Last week, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ordered adding 1 million new families to the Takaful and Karama (Solidarity and Dignity) Program as part of a series of recently announced economic package meant to help Egyptians cope with the repercussions of global inflation.

The number of beneficiary families of the Solidarity and Dignity scheme will increase from 4.1 to 5 million by the end of August, Madbouly noted.

The cash-support program was launched in 2015 to support impoverished families with school-age children, the elderly and people with special needs in Upper Egypt.

The program gives EGP 425 a month to each family, in addition to EGP 60 for each child in primary school, EGP 80 for each child in preparatory school, and EGP 100 for each child in high school, provided the family has a maximum of two children in school and they receive education and healthcare regularly.

It also targets the elderly, people with special needs, widows, and divorced women. The program grants subscribers EGP 450 per month.

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