Egypt president, Italian PM discuss global food crisis, irregular migration

Ahram Online , Thursday 6 Jul 2023

Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni discussed the global food crisis and refugee flows, Spokesperson for the Presidency Ahmed Fahmy announced on Thursday.

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File photo: Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi (R) and Italian Prime Minister Giorgia (L)

 

The phone conversation comes a week following the World Food Program's decision to grant Egypt $431 million to support the country's food security goals  during its annual summit in Rome from 26 to 30 June.

Egypt and Italy signed an extension of the third phase of their $100 million debt swap programme in May, facilitating greater investments in national food reserves.

The outbreak of war in Ukraine last year put significant strain on Egyptian food security, recently compounded by consequences of the war in Sudan. An estimated 200,000 Sudanese have sought refuge in Egypt since the outbreak of the conflict, further straining the country's resources.

Irregular migration

El-Sisi and Meloni also discussed irregular migration and mechanisms for cooperation on the issue.

Egypt has stepped up its efforts to control irregular migration since 2016, when the country launched its first national strategy addressing the issue.

The strategy embraces a multi-pronged approach. It encompasses Law 82/2016, and its amendments, which sets out stiff penalties against migrant smuggling. 

Seeking to address the root causes of irregular migration, however, the strategy also includes initiatives to boost household incomes and employment in governorates which are the largest sources of irregular migrants.

El-Sisi and Meloni also discussed regional and international issues of mutual national interest, and the two leaders expressed commitment to continued collaboration at all levels.

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