CAIRO: Within the European Union’s cooperation framework in Egypt, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Egyptian Ministry of Manpower, one of the WFP’s three government counterparts implementing the European Union (EU) funded project “Enhancing Access of Children to Education and Fighting Child Labour.”
Through the MoU, the Ministry of Manpower will be the focal point for developing and maintaining the project’s Child Labour Monitoring System (CLMS) at the ministry level, as well as at the governorate level. The monitoring system will track the project’s beneficiaries and will support the implementation of the national child protection mechanism included in Child Law No.126/2008.
“Through financing this program, the EU is contributing to the ongoing efforts to tackle some of the most critical issues affecting Egypt’s poorest children: undernutrition, access to quality primary education, and stopping child labour,” said Ambassador James Moran, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt. “We are proud to be part of helping 100,000 children, particularly young girls in primary schools, to pursue their education and maintain their rights.”
The €60-million project is targeting 16 of the most vulnerable governorates in Egypt with the aim of ending child labour through enhancing access to education, especially for girls. WFP had previously signed a Memoranda of Understanding with the Ministry of Education in January 2015, and with the Ministry of Social Solidarity in March 2015, regarding the implementation of this four-year project.
Through this project, WFP will provide 100,000 children in community schools with a daily in-school snack (date bars fortified with vitamins and minerals) as well as monthly take-home food rations (10 kg of rice and 1 liter of oil) for their families through its school feeding program. Up to 400,000 family members will benefit from the take-home rations, the value of which compensates for the wage a child would earn if sent to work. Both in-school snacks and take-home rations act as incentives to encourage families to send their children – especially girls – to school and keep them there.
“WFP works in close coordination with the Government of Egypt. It is through partnerships like these that we are able to implement such projects which are an important step towards the country’s economic and social development,” said Lubna Alaman, WFP Representative and Country Director. “This EU-funded project is the largest project WFP is currently implementing in Egypt, and we are grateful for the support we are receiving from the government which has enabled us to achieve key milestones in this EU funded project.”
WFP has been working in Egypt since 1968 providing school feeding in the most vulnerable areas in Egypt.