Egypt universities to help in developing slums: minister
Urban development minister Laila Iskander - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: Egyptian universities’ students will participate in the “Egypt Without Slums” workshop which will last for three years to carry out studies on ending the slums phenomenon in Egypt, said urban development minister Laila Iskander.

“The studies and research conducted by students will serve the society’s problems and also tackle urban development and slums issues,” she said in press statements.

Iskandar launched the workshop in coordination with students from the universities of Cairo, Alexandria, Shubra, Port Said, Ain Shams, Al-Azhar, Menoufia, Tanta, Suez Canal, Kafr el-Sheikh, Mansoura and Post Said.

Slums accumulated in Egypt over decades, and because they are illegal, they are deprived of the majority of basic services. The government has announced in the past few months several development projects to modernize these areas.

About 60 percent of Egypt’s residents live in unplanned areas that were established unlawfully, representing 37.5 percent of the country’s total urban areas, Iskandar told Al-Arabiya channel in August 2014.

Egypt needs 813 million EGP ($113.7 million) to develop slums, Iskandar said, adding that her ministry’s budget is around 600 million EGP while there are 1,034 slums in Egypt, 57 of which are in Cairo.

In August 2014, the European Union Delegation in Egypt called for project proposals to improve select informal areas in Greater Cairo, and the EU offered 10 million euro ($13.1 million) to implement them. The informal areas are in Ain Shams, Ezbet el-Nasr, Warraq and Geziret el-Dahab.

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