President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi speaks during the launch ceremony of the Shoulder-to-shoulder initiative that was held in Cairo International Stadium on Friday. Photo: National Alliance for Civil Development Work (NACDW) page
El-Sisi was speaking at the launch ceremony -- held at Cairo International Stadium -- after kicking off the initiative that aims to distribute six million cartons of food supplies throughout Egypt ahead of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
The president emphasized that Egypt is moving forward despite these attempts of intimidation, thanks to the resilience of its people and the support of Almighty God.
El-Sisi expressed his appreciation to the participants and volunteers of the National Alliance for Civil Development Work (NACDW) for their work in helping to alleviate the impacts of the ongoing economic crisis.
The Shoulder-To-Shoulder initiative is the largest social protection initiative in the history of Egypt as it aims to provide food for 20 million people, the NACDW said.
“We are launching a new initiative with the aim of providing social protection and ensuring food security in all Egyptian governorates to reach the most in-need categories,” the president said.
"Two years ago, from this same place, we witnessed the launch of Egypt's greatest national project, 'Decent Life,' which seeks to improve the living conditions of more than 4,000 villages where 58 million citizens reside."
"At the time, although the announced budget for the initiative was EGP 700-800 billion, its first phase only cost EGP350 billion," he said, noting that the total budget for all phases "may reach EGP1 trillion".
El-Sisi added that the attendees at the event represented all segments of Egyptian society, from businessmen to statesmen and the private sector.
“It is important to go door to door to tell the people that we are with them,” he said, adding that Egyptians always stand together.
The NACDW, which was launched in March 2022 to provide services in areas such as health and education, is a 34-entity alliance that includes the Decent Life Foundation (DLF), Resala Charity Organisation, Orman Association and the Egyptian Food Bank.
For their part, the DLF announced that 60,000 of their volunteers would participate in the initiative, with 5,000 already having been mobilised to help distribute one million food cartons.
DLF also announced that it participated, in cooperation with the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI), in packing and distributing more than 20,000 food supplies cartons as part of the initiative.
The DLF revealed that the EFI contributed also to the distribution of 35,000 of food commodity coupons disbursed from the consumer complexes of the Ministry of Supply and Trade coinciding with the advent of Ramadan.
Egypt has been working to stabilise food prices ahead of the start of Ramadan on 23 March, as the month is traditionally accompanied by an increased consumption of various food products.
The country's budget for the upcoming 2023/2024 fiscal year includes robust new social support measures to alleviate the negative impact of inflation on citizens.