Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly heads the Egyptian cabinet's weekly meeting on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of Egyptian cabinet
The committee will coordinate with ministries and government agencies to develop food strategies and action plans that will be implemented by the relevant authorities on the national level, according to a statement by the Cabinet.
They will also seek the assistance of on-governmental organizations and relevant international organizations, it added.
Moreover, the committee will monitor and evaluate progress, provide advice on addressing challenges and promote sustainable food systems.
The committee will be chaired by the prime minister, with members including the ministers of foreign affairs, supply and internal trade, health and population, planning and economic development, international cooperation, finance, environment, youth and sports, social solidarity, agriculture and land reclamation, local development, education and technical education, water resources and irrigation, and trade and industry.
It will also include representatives from the Ministry of Defense and the chairman of the National Food Safety Authority.
The committee will be convened by its chairperson at least once every three months or as needed, and a scientific committee will be established to study topics referred to it by the national committee.
A pressing topic
Food security is a pressing topic in Egypt as the country's most vulnerable groups are threatened by inflation, currency devaluations, water scarcity and environmental degradation, as stated by the Country Strategic Plan 2023-2028 presented to the World Food Bank (WFP) in late June.
In July, the WFP approved a $413 million grant to alleviate the pressures on the Egyptian government.
Egypt imports 65 percent of its basic food needs, according to Nader Noureddin, professor of land and water resources at Cairo University.
Late last year, Minister of Agriculture and Land Reclamation El-Sayed El-Quseir stated that state has spent hundreds of billions of pounds to implement national projects in agriculture to improve food security.
Among this are ambitious land reclamation projects like the New Delta plan, which El-Quseir has described as “Egypt’s food future.”
Egypt’s government has recently started digging a 174-kilometre-long artificial river in its Western Desert to irrigate New Delta, its largest ever agriculture project which aims to reclaim and cultivate 2.2 million feddans — nearly a quarter of Egypt’s current agricultural land.
In March, Egypt and the European Union signed a grant agreement worth 40 million euros to enhance food security efforts in Egypt, implemented by the Italian Agency of Development Cooperation (IADC).