Slums in Egypt (Photo: Al Ahram)
Egypt will allocate LE1 billion of its annual budget in the 2015/2016 fiscal year to develop a number of urban slum areas, the planning ministry said in a statement on Saturday.
The amount is part of LE6.85 billion in targeted investments for local development programmes.
Another LE650 million of the state's budget for the same fiscal year – which began on 1 July -- will be allocated to develop a number of the country’s most impoverished villages. The selected villages make up 9.5 percent of the total number of impoverished rural areas nationwide.
In January, the Ministry of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements launched a project called “Egypt without Slums", which comprised a three-year plan aimed at eradicating 258 urban slum areas.
The ministry subsequently announced that it will implement the first stage of the project, developing 44 slum areas in Cairo and Giza. This stage, expected to conclude in November, will help the ministry assess the budget required to completely eradicate slums in Egypt.
Consecutive Egyptian governments have vowed to develop the informal urban developments that house millions of less privileged Egyptians. Most lack basic services such as clean water and sewage.
"Egypt needs between LE200 to 250 billion in order to get rid of slums and unsafe zones," Sherif El-Gohary, a technical support manager within the ministry told the press in January.
In December 2014, the cabinet announced that it will start developing 78 rural villages that are considered to be the “poorest villages" nationwide. The development process will focus on infrastructure elements such as the provision of drinking water, street lighting, cleansing canals, paved roads and establishing schools and hospitals.