CAIRO: The European Union will provide 1.5 million euro ($2.04 million) to enhance the standards and range of community services available in four slums in Greater Cairo, the EU delegation to Egypt said in a Monday statement.
The informal areas are Ain Shams, Ezbet el-Nasr, Warraq and Geziret el-Dahab. The grant goes to 17 beneficiaries from civil and social groups who met the criteria set by the EU, and they will carry out their proposed projects within the next year, according to the statement.
“The development of civil society is an essential part of the EU’s partnership with Egypt and I am confident that these projects will contribute significantly to improving the lives of the residents,” said EU Ambassador to Egypt James Moran.
The projects aim to improve vocational skills for the unemployed and foster income-generating activities, the statement said.
“It (the development measure) is based on the needs of the respective communities in our selected areas. Its participatory approach is unique and includes civil society, local authorities and the private sector who are jointly working together in a spirit of cooperation to develop these areas,” said Minister of Planning Ashraf al-Araby, who was present during the signing of the agreement.
The EU’s partner in the agreement is the Participatory Development Program in Urban Areas (PDP), which is an Egyptian-German program implemented by the Ministry of Planning and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). It has been funded by the EU and the German government for the development from 2012 until 2018, but has been operating in Egypt since 2004.
In December 2013, the EU signed a 20 million euro ($27 million) agreement with GIZ to develop impoverished slums in Cairo’s Matariya, Giza’s Old Bulaq, and Qalyubia’s Shubra and Khosous.
Thirty slums in Cairo and Giza are under development at a cost of 350 million EGP ($49 million), and the Slum Development Fund (SDF) put forth a plan to develop more slums in different governorates to be presented to Minister of Urban Development Laila Iskandar, Youm7 reported SDF head Khaled al-Gabarti saying July 1.