Egypt launches support programme to provide soft loans for irregular labourers

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Aug 2023

Egypt has launched the first phase of a support programme that will provide loans at concessional interest rates to irregular labourers to establish 10,000 small and micro projects in six governorates.

Nevine El-Qabbaj
File Photo: Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj. Al-Ahram


The programme will eventually be expanded to 16 governorates.

Governorates covered in the first phase include Giza, Beheira, Fayoum, Sohag, Assiut, and Qena, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Social Solidarity on Wednesday.

The scheme is financed by the rural industries fund, which is part of the Ministry of Social Solidarity.

It also comes within the framework of an EGP 570 million (around $18 million) agreement signed between the ministries of planning and social solidarity to empower around 30,000 irregular workers and their families.

The move aims to raise the standards of living for the country’s most vulnerable families and promote rural and environmental industries, handicrafts, and heritage, said Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj.

The number of irregular workers in Egypt’s labour market is estimated at 11.8 million, according to official figures.

In recent months, Egypt has launched several initiatives in support of irregular workers, including the Shore of Safety initiative to support young fishermen and the Your Way is Safe initiative for delivery workers and others.

In May, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi announced the establishment of an emergency support fund for irregular workers.

Under the decision, the president ordered dispersing EGP 1,000 (about $32) to irregular workers who are not covered by other social protection programmes.

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