The new financing marks the third phase of collaboration between Egypt and the World Bank to support the establishment of an efficient and effective cash transfer programme and to introduce beneficiaries to interventions that generate sustainable incomes and reduce poverty.
Egypt has raised allocations for social protection in current FY2022/2023 by 17.6 percent to EGP 302.2 billion, up from EGP 251 billion allocated in the previous fiscal year.
The World Bank said that investing in human capital is integral to national development and Egypt has made notable progress towards building a more integrated and inclusive social protection system.
The Takaful and Karama programme is a cornerstone of Egypt’s social protection system, covering 3.69 million households (about 12.84 million individuals) as of June 2022, they added.
Women represent 74 percent of beneficiaries, while 67 percent of the cash goes to Upper Egypt.
The new financing will further support the Takaful and Karama programme in providing the poorest and most vulnerable households with opportunities for economic inclusion, paving the way for more sustainable livelihoods that do not depend on cash transfers.
The financing will expand the programme’s coverage while also enhancing the programme’s social registry by making it more adaptive to respond to emergencies including climate-related shocks.
The World Bank said that the adverse economic impact of recent global shocks, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, have added urgency to strengthen and expand the flagship program and to boost the resilience of vulnerable households in the face of future shocks.
“The timing of the programme is particularly important as the government is expanding social safety nets to mitigate the repercussions of exogenous price shocks by enhancing cash transfers, strengthening institutional capacities and providing technical support. The ongoing collaboration with the World Bank continues to support the country in maintaining and enhancing positive human capital outcomes,” said Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat.
The latest financing builds on the longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Social Solidarity through the Strengthening Social Safety Nets programme, which started in 2015 to support Takaful and Karama.
The World Bank provided additional financing to Takaful and Karama in 2019, introducing the Forsa economic inclusion programme to create livelihood opportunities through wage employment and the provision of assets that enable beneficiaries to generate sustainable incomes.
Assets provided by the programme include sewing machines, livestock and poultry, post-harvest food processing and production units, waste recycling machinery, handicraft and knitting machinery, beekeeping equipment and small greenhouses. Forsa also provides beneficiaries with the technical and financial know-how needed to effectively operate and profit from those assets.
“Takaful and Karama is Egypt’s main social safety net programme that supports social justice policies, and promotes inclusion of the country’s most poor and vulnerable households including families with school age children, elderly, orphans and people with disabilities,” said Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Qabbaj.
Over the years, the Ministry of Social Solidarity has leveraged Takaful and Karama’s social registry to link beneficiaries to other national social protection programmes, including subsidised health insurance, food ration cards, the Two is Enough family planning programme, and the First 1,000 Days healthy nutrition project for very young children.
Beneficiaries will also have access to the Waai programme, which raises awareness among vulnerable groups about other social protection programmes.
“This new financing very much resonates with the bank’s FY2023/2027 Country Partnership framework with Egypt which puts the Egyptian people at the centre of its strategy, and seeks to create conditions for green, resilient and inclusive development including through supporting the enhancement of Egypt’s human capital” according to Marina Wes, World Bank country director for Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti.