Head of the European Union (EU) delegation to Egypt, Ambassador Christian Berger, visited four projects the Egyptian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) is implementing at Samallout district in Minya governorate, a statement read on Wednesday.
The projects are being implemented under the EU-funded agreement of Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration.
The EU delegation was accompanied by Minya governor, General Osama El-Qady, and a group from the agency presided over by head of the Human and Community Development Central Sector Medhat Massoud.
The delegation visited the 1.2 km long Gabal El-Tair road paving project, financed by EGP 2.374 million, and the Gabal El-Tair youth centre renovation project, funded by EGP 1.458 million.
They also visited the sites of the renovation project of three health units in three villages in Samallout, totalling EGP 1.555 million, and the veterinary unit in Bani Khaled village, financed at EGP 464,000.
Minister of Trade and Industry and MSMEDA Executive Director Nevine Gamea said the visit is part of the close cooperation between MSMEDA and the EU – a major sponsor agency of MSMEDA.
"MSMEDA cooperates with a large number of international donor agencies that channel funds to the different projects it implements in the different governorates of Egypt in coordination with the state's engaged organs to fulfil the basic needs of inhabitants of the needy areas to help create an enabling environment for MSMEs," the minister said.
"From July 2014 till the end of December 2020, MSMEDA injected EGP 2.6 billion in Minya, EGP 203.2 million of which to implement infrastructure and community development projects and create 2.73 million daily jobs (man/day); and EGP 2.4 billion that were directed to finance the establishment of 170,000 MSEs and already generated 201,700 jobs," Gamea explained.
"The European Union Trust Fund closely cooperates with MSMEDA in providing key services and small-scale works for community infrastructure, as well as promoting economic activities and enhancing skills needed for employment. This is very much in line with the EU-Egypt partnership priorities," head of the EU delegation to Egypt said.
"It is a great opportunity to be in Minya and learn more about this cooperation and how it is working in practice for the benefit of people living and working here," Berger noted.
El-Qady lauded MSMEDA's job creation efforts for youth in Minya governorate. He emphasised the continuous cooperation between MSMEDA and the governorate on implementing the projects of the Agreement of Addressing the Root Causes on Irregular Migration that would in turn create employment opportunities for casual workers and offer choices to youth in a bid to curb the irregular migration phenomenon.
Massoud said local contractors in Minya were hired to carry out projects funded by the agreement.
The purpose was to generate daily jobs (man/day) for temporary workers. Massoud pointed out the projects visited by the delegation would create more than 13,00 daily job opportunities (man/day) for casual workers during their implementation period.
The Agreement of Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration through Employability and Labour-intensive Works (ELIW) was signed by MSMEDA and the EU at a grant of 27 million euros.
The agreement is based on a study conducted by the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing Illegal Migration and Combating and Preventing Trafficking in Persons to execute infrastructure and community development projects in 11 governorates: Luxor, Assiut, Minya, Fayoum, Qalioubiya, Menoufiya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Beheira, Daqahliya, and Kafr El-Sheikh.
The aim is to provide alternatives to youth, qualify them for labour market requirements, and help them establish micro and small enterprises.