CAIRO: The Cabinet discussed Sunday its plan to develop 400 villages in Upper Egypt, and appointed Maj. Gen. Hossam Rezk Allah, head of General Authority for Construction and Housing Cooperatives, to be the general coordinator of the project, the Cabinet announced in a press statement on its website.
The aim of the project is to develop and revive the economy of the villages, which are surrounded by desert, and assist them to increase population density through economic, agricultural and industrial projects, attract more investments and provide many job opportunities, it reported.
Developing these villages will include utilizing the isolated villages with schools, bakeries, mosques, housing units, police stations along with providing the means of mass transportations, moreover the National Program will include developing the infrastructures of these isolated villages, including roads, electricity plants, sanitary stations and irrigation pipelines.
The development project for the villages dates from 2006, and includes 400 villages in Beni Suef, Fayoum, Minya, Assiut, Sohag, Qena, and Luxor governorates, the Cabinet said, adding that the government aims to ease the population density of high-population governorates; the project is set to include between 4-5 million people by 2017, it reported.
The Cabinet allocated 5 billion EGP ($714 million) to execute the project, Al Ahram Digital gate reported, adding although after eight years only 10 percent of the project has been executed.
The government has yet spent about 1.2 billion EGP in developing 40 villages, each including between 50-100 houses, it reported.
An estimated 25 percent of the Egyptian population do not live in their mother governorate and migrate to other governorates to find job opportunities and education, Al Ahram news gate reported.
Cairo and Alexandria top the Egyptian governorates in attracting the population, due to their perceived wealth of opportunities and facilities, with upper Egyptian governorates including Sohag, Qena experiencing the most flight of youth, it reported.
Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu Hadid, the Minister of Irrigation Mohamed Abdul Muttalib, the Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouly along with head of General Authority for Construction & Housing Cooperative and the head of Central Agency for Reconstruction, attended the Sunday meeting, the Cabinet stated.