The governorates of Upper Egypt had suffered for decades from lack of services, El-Sisi said as he was justifying the reason behind the state's already-taken step to provide basic necessities and services to the residents of Upper Egypt.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly indicated that Upper Egypt's governorates have received EGP 1.5 trillion worth of investments through the past seven years, revealing that a quarter of the state's total investments have been spent on projects in Upper Egypt.
The total investments implemented and underway in Sohag amounted to EGP 102 billion, the premier said.
A total of 415 projects were implemented in Sohag, he added. Thirty-two of these projects centred on building and developing hospitals and medical centres at a cost of EGP 5.4 billion, Madbouly said.
There are 324,400 beneficiaries from the government initiative Takafol Wa Karama that provided a total of EGP 11.4 billion in financial aid to more than a quarter of Sohag’s residents, the prime minister continued.
Furthermore, EGP 2.4 billion was given in the form of loans to stimulate economic growth, resulting in carrying out 117,000 projects, he added.
Some 23,000 residential units were built at the cost of EGP 3.7 billion in both empty and unsafe areas in Sohag, including over 10,000 in New Sohag. In addition, 1,272 new residential projects have been nearly implemented in older residential areas as well, according to Madbouly.
Drinking water has become accessible to 98.6 percent of residents in Sohag at the cost of EGP 2.9 billion, Madbouly continued. In terms of sewage systems, 30 percent of Sohag is currently connected to the system, at a cost of EGP 3.8 billion. With the completion of the projects launched by the Decent Life initiative in Sohag, he said, 100 percent of the governorate will be connected to the sewage system.
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 initiative aims to improve standards of living, infrastructure and basic services, including healthcare across the countryside. It covers 4,658 villages across the country, which are home to 58 percent of Egypt’s 103-million population.
Madbouly stated that Natural gas has reached 210,000 residential blocks. In terms of roads, 360 roads have been built since 2014 at a cost of EGP 3.4 billion with 245 currently in progress. Moreover, there are now 4 axes connecting the east and west bank of the Nile, which have been built at a cost of EGP 10 billion, he said.
The prime minister said that since the launch of Decent Life initiative the following projects have been carried out: 183 educational centres, 48 youth centres, 44 medical centres, 30 governmental centres, 30 agricultural centres and 150 postage centres.
He stated that 37 projects for drinking water have also been completed and that progress is being made on 181 sewage system projects.
El-Sisi inaugurated on Thursday the New Sohag Educational Hospital that spans an area of 1,000 feddans, 750 of which were dedicated to the hospital’s 3 complexes and 250 to its agricultural space.
New Sohag university, which El-Sisi visited on Thursday, includes 10 faculties 7 of which are dedicated to humanities and social sciences. It was built at the cost of EGP 2.7 billon.
Egypt needs 60,000 classrooms annually, at the cost of EGP 60 billion, to keep pace with population growth, the president emphasised.
El-Sisi said that Egypt faced the repercussions of the Russian-Ukrainian war by increasing social protection measures.
“The Russian-Ukrainian war is approaching its first year. It is a war that crowded out the Corona pandemic in its negative impacts on the global economy,” El-Sisi said. He added that no one has escaped the impact of this war and that global economies have suffered.
The Egyptian President stated that Egypt was still dealing with these repercussions and that the economic reforms it had undertaken enabled it to withstand the global crisis.
“Managing this crisis was based in the first place on efforts to reduce its direct impacts on the citizens by implementing an integrated series of social protection measures and working to reduce the waves of inflation that hit the world and cast a shadow on us all,” he said.
In parallel with those measures, the state worked to boost the role of the private sector, attracting direct foreign investments to support macroeconomic indicators. The state also implemented initiatives and strategies to localise industries and to support exports as well as to reduce the balance of trade deficit which is directly reflected in the value of the annual import bill, El-Sisi said in his speech
He also said that he instructed all state institutions to give development in Upper Egypt top priority, especially in the fields of health and education, in parallel with the megaprojects.
“The Egyptian state continues to exert all the efforts to achieve stability and development in Upper Egypt and in Egypt in general,” he said, adding that he took pride in the remarkable progress achieved in Upper Egypt by Egyptian hands.