President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi received on Thursday the Special Olympics award for supporting people with special needs (Photo courtesy: the official Facebook page of presidential spokesman)
According to Rady, President El-Sisi voiced deep appreciation and gratitude after receiving the award, saying it reflects appreciation for Egypt's unremitting efforts in empowering "people with determination," in reference to people with different capabilities.
The award is considered "the most prestigious award that is presented to kings and presidents for supporting people with special needs," Rady added.
According to the organisation's website, the "Special Olympics is a global movement of people creating a new world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of ability or disability. We are helping to make the world a better, healthier and more joyful place—one athlete, one volunteer, one family member at a time."
In recent years, Egypt has carried out intensive programmes to empower millions of its citizens who have special needs on the legal, political, social and economic levels, per constitutional mandates
According to the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS), the number of Egyptians with special needs stood at 20 million in 2020, or almost 20 percent of the country's 105-million population.
CAPMAS found that 76.5 percent of people with special needs suffer from minor disabilities, while 18.9 percent suffer from disabilities that impede them in performing daily activities and 4.5 percent are completely disabled.
In July, Egypt’s House of Representatives approved a number of legislative amendments to strengthen ‘The Law on the Fund for Supporting Citizens with Different Capabilities.’
Last October, the House toughened penalties for bullying people with disabilities.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Social Solidarity allocated EGP five billion to support the needs of people with special needs annually.
The ministry pays tuition fees for 500,000 students with disabilities. It also runs more than 630 rehabilitation and training centres for people with disabilities.
In January of this year, El-Sisi ordered the creation of a comprehensive database for people with mobility impairment nationwide.
Last week, El-Sisi directed the government to build an integrated industrial complex to localise the production of prosthetics for people with special needs in cooperation with foreign companies.
In late 2021, during an event for the differently abled in Cairo that was held in celebration of the UN International Day of Persons with Disabilities, El-Sisi directed the government to establish a special fund for Egyptians with special needs. He also directed the government to include of the needs of Egyptians with special needs under the countryside-focused Decent Life national project.