Government, civil society discuss partnership on Egypt's homeless protection program

Nada Nader, Thursday 23 Jun 2022

Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj convened on Thursday with 22 nominated civil society organisations to discuss partnership on the implementation of the national program to protect homeless children and the elderly.

Social Solidarity
During the meeting which was headed by the Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj on Thursday 23 June, 2022. Photo courtesy of Ministry of Social Solidarity

The meeting discussed having these organisations manage mobile units allocated for the Children and Elderly Without Shelter program, the ministry said in a statement.

The mobile units provide street children with places to rest, food and games as well as medical, social and psychological support.

In recent years, the ministry has deployed a number of mobile units throughout the country under the national program to protect homeless children, which was launched in 2016.

During the meeting, El-Qabbaj denied recent rumours that the program would be shut down, saying that it is an integral part of the ministry’s social support program.

Instead, the program's experimental period, which was set to last for three to four years, will end. The program will then be transferred to the ministry’s social defence administration, El-Qabbaj said, noting that ministry staff will still be responsible for implementing the program’s activities.

El-Qabbaj launched a campaign to support homeless people nationwide in 2020. At the time, the ministry said in a statement that it is seeking to rescue the largest number of homeless children and adults and convince them to move to care homes.

The ministry announced in 2019 that there are 12 million homeless people in Egypt, including 3 million children.

The ministry has allocated the hotline 16439 to help homeless people nationwide, as well as the government complaints hotline 16528 and the ministry's official pages on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In 2016, Egypt launched the national Children Without a Shelter program with the aim of helping street children.

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