Minister of Trade witnesses signing of contracts to combat irregular immigration

Minister of Trade and Industry and Executive Director of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) Nevine Gamea on Tuesday witnessed the signing of several contracts with four NGOs in Assuit and Sharqia, to employ youth in environmental and health awareness and help fight irregular and illegal migration.

These contracts are expected to generate more than 70,000 daily employment opportunities.

Minister Counselor and Head of EU Cooperation in Egypt Ibrahim al-Afia, together with MSMEDA Deputy Director General Engineer Tarek Shash attended the signing ceremony.

Gamea said these contracts fall under an agreement “Addressing the Root Causes of Irregular Migration through Employability and Labor-Intensive Works” from the MSMEDA and funded by the EU at 27 million in 11 governorates: Luxor, Assiut, Minya, Fayoum, Qalyubiya, Monufiya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Beheira, Daqahlia, and Kafr al-Sheikh.

According to Medhat Massoud, the Head of MSMEDA’s Human and Community Development Central Sector, this agreement involves three major components that generate daily jobs for youth.

The first component is employing youth in infrastructure projects through hiring semi-skilled and unskilled labor instead of machines and equipment. The second relates to youth employment in health, environmental awareness, illiteracy eradication and establishing kindergartens, while the third depends on youth training on a variety of handicrafts to qualify them for self-employment via the establishment of micro or small enterprises or develop their skills according to labor market requirements.

Gamea added that these contracts are the kick–off stage to execute the agreement’s different components, with great emphasis on community services in particular. Around LE140 million has been allocated towards 37 health projects, 36 environmental projects, 32 kindergarten services and 25 others dedicated to eradicating illiteracy.

Altogether, the minister noted that these projects will generate around 2.6 million jobs for youth between 18 and 29 years old. In addition, around 1.2 million inhabitants would benefit from the services to be provided, through health or environmental care.

The agreement is in harmony with an initiative by the Ministry of Egyptian Affairs Abroad, she added, which is hosting 800 seminars to raise awareness on the risks of illegal immigration, while targeting alternative job opportunities to roughly 16,000 citizens.

And the agreement aims to provide new alternatives to youth within migration-prone governorates through the introduction of labor-intensive community, infrastructure projects and training programs that enable them to acquire new labor market skills, or to establish income-generating micro and small enterprises.

In addition, she noted that the agreement would help generate jobs for casual and semi-skilled labor, especially in the field of infrastructure development projects.

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