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Egypt cancels World Youth Forum over economic crisis

The fifth edition of the World Youth Forum in Egypt, this year has been canceled due to economic burdens and financial hardship.

It waa decided that the usual funds used for the initiatives will be redirected  to other entrepreneurship and development programs for farmers to achieve food security. This is through alternative initiatives.

Alternative initiatives also aims to launch the largest youth volunteer platform in the world to help poor countries and those affected by wars, conflicts or climate change, as well as providing support to refugees and immigrants.

The idea of the World Youth Forum came when a group of Egyptian youth presented President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, in April 2017, with an initiative to conduct a dialogue with the youth of the world in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The President responded to the proposal, and an international annual event was held that brings together young people from all around the world. It was organized 4 times in Sharm el-Sheikh.

Abdel-Moneim Imam, Secretary of the Economic Committee in the House of Representatives and head of the Adl (Justice) Party, said that canceling the fifth edition of the World Youth Forum is a positive move in light of the economic circumstances at the present time.

It serves as a message to all the executive authorities in Egypt on the need to rationalize expenditures to overcome the current crisis.

He noted that the state does not bear the cost of organizing the forum, but rather the cost comes from the sponsorship of major companies and economic institutions, however, the message of postponing it is in line with political trends to rationalize spending.

At the beginning of this year, the Egyptian government approved a package of decisions to rationalize public spending, which included postponing the implementation of any new projects funded in US dollars, rationalizing all travel of officials abroad, banning spending on social and sports services, as well as banning spending on advertising expenses and parties.

Imam added that the future of the Egyptian economy depends on encouraging entrepreneurship, developing small and medium enterprises and achieving food security.

Therefore directing the forum’s allocations to these aspects is positive, to sustain the growth of the national economy and meet the needs of consumers.

Youth represent 60% of the population of Egypt, and therefore, the government is interested in launching several programs and initiatives to spread the culture of entrepreneurship to provide job opportunities for young people and spread the culture of self-employment, according to the Minister of Planning, Hala al-Saeed.

Maha Abdel-Nasser, a member of the House of Representatives and Vice President of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said: “I welcome the initiative to postpone the World Youth Forum this year in light of the current economic conditions.”

She added that holding the forum this year would have provoked upset sentiments of a large segment of Egyptian society in light of the current economic conditions, especially with the government announcing the adoption of austerity measures.

According to the official statement from the management of the World Youth Forum, the cancellation of this year’s edition came with the aim of easing economic burdens and advancing development.

Abdel-Nasser stressed the importance of quickly starting the establishment of the initiatives that the World Youth Forum seeks to implement so that they will be reflected on citizens as soon as possible, in light of the unprecedented economic conditions from which a large segment of citizens suffer.

She pointed to the need to pay attention to food security initiatives to provide for the needs of the state, and to develop small and medium enterprises initiatives.

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