File Photo: Egyptian men install water pipes in the village of al-Jendaya, in the Bani Mazar province, in the Minya governorate some 200km south of Cairo. AFP
The first conference on the Decent Life initiative is set to kick off on Thursday, 6pm, at the Cairo International Stadium under the auspices of Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
The initiative, meaning Hayah Karima in Arabic, is a series of countryside-focused national infrastructure projects.
The event is scheduled to be attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and a number of ministers, in addition to thousands of citizens from different governorates, a statement by the Decent Life Foundation said on Thursday.
The conference will witness a briefing on the progress achieved in the initiative, which aims to improve the standard of living, infrastructure, and basic services, and targets 58 percent of Egypt’s 102-million population.
With overall investments amounting to EGP 700 billion, the initiative seeks to improve livelihoods in over 4,500 villages, the statement added.
Decent Life was first initiated in 2019 when the president charged the Ministry of Social Solidarity with developing Egypt’s poorest 1,000 villages.
In December 2020, President El-Sisi decided to expand the initiative to include 4,500 villages within the framework of the Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt's Vision 2030.
“The Egyptian countryside will be transformed in three years’ time,” El-Sisi said in January when launching the expanded initiative.
The national project’s budget has been increased to around EGP 600 billion.
The enormous volume of work required to develop the 4,500 villages means they have been divided into three groups of 1,500 villages each.
The first phase started in January 2021 with a budget of nearly EGP 200 billion and is due to be completed by the end of FY 2021-22.
The initiative also addresses women through family guidance and counselling offices and reproductive health clinics. It will provide decent housing in new complexes and, wherever possible, develop existing housing.
In terms of education services, the initiative is building 13,000 classrooms, while health services will be enhanced by developing health units, constructing new hospitals, and activating the new Universal Health Insurance System.