President of Egypt's Central Agency for Reconstruction Mahmoud Meghawri announced that the first phase of the government's Geographical Targeting of Poverty Initiative would be complete as of 30 June, 2011.
Meghawri told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the first phase of the two-phase project–which aims to develop 151 villages in six Egyptian governorates–would include 30 villages in Minya; 26 in Sohag; 22 in Assiut; 23 in Qena; 31 in Sharqiya; and 19 in Beheira. He pointed out that the initial phase would serve 1.5 million citizens at a total cost of LE4.4 billion.
“In it's entirety, the initiative aims to provide services for 12 million people living in 1153 of the poorest villages,” he said. "The second phase will be aimed at developing 1002 villages within a five-year period and will include three sub-phases.”
Meghawri went on to explain that the first sub-phase would target 373 villages, the second 295 villages, and the third 334 villages in the Luxor, Aswan, Helwan, 6 October and Beni Sueif governorates, in addition to the first-phase governorates with the exception of Beheira.
Meghawri further explained that the initiative aimed to create housing units for low-income families on 42-square-meter plots of land–at a cost of up to LE10,000 per unit–as part of a national housing project .
According to the head of Egypt's Housing Authority, the villages chosen for the initiative were decided upon by the Ministry of Economic Development. The ministry's decision was based on 37 indicators, including education, employment, facilities, family income, and the average number of family members.
Meghawri said the initiative also aims to raise the number of primary and secondary schools in order to reduce the number of students to a maximum of 40 students per class and do away with the shift system that has been adopted by a number of schools.
He also said that, as part of the initiative, between 50 and 75 families in each village would be surveyed to determine their needs, stressing that social welfare institutions would then work to ensure that those needs were provided for.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.