The EU and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Egypt signed agreements with 17 organisations Sunday, to finance projects developing informal and slum areas in Cairo and Giza.
The total amount provided will be € 1.5m.
During the signing, Nihal Al-Megharbel, Economic Advisor to the Minister of Planning, said Egypt includes 4 of the 30 most dangerous slum areas in the world. These slums are located in Imbaba, Izbat Al Haganah, Manshiyat Naser, and cemetery areas.
Al-Megharbel said: “The fund for the development of slum areas has a plan for the transfer of slum dwellers living in dangerous areas, and the government has allocated an annual EGP 500m for the development of non-dangerous slum areas as well as the building of alternative housing for residents who intend to leave those slums.”
“The government has allocated EGP 600m this fiscal year for the development of slums areas, which in the year 2008 amounted to 1221 slum areas with a population of 16m citizens,” she added. “These slum areas are concentrated in Cairo and Giza, and 362 of these slums are considered dangerous areas.”
Al-Megharbel indicated that in the past three years the number of slums has increased, given multiple instances of illegal building on agricultural lands owned by the state.
Gunther Wehenpohl, Director of Participatory Development Programme in urban areas (PDP), said 60% of Cairo’s population lives in informal areas. The projects will coordinate with civil society institutions to make improvements in Ain Shams and Ezbat Nasser in the Cairo governorate, and Al-Warraq and El Zahab island in the Giza governorate.
He stated that more than 90 organisations applied to participate in the programme, with only 17 given final approval. They will work on 3 core programmes to improve employment opportunities and professional skills, as well as focus on youth and women between 18 and 35 years old. Eight of these organisations are: the British Council; the National Egyptian Development Association (NEDA); the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS); the Think and Do Foundation, the Grants, Innovation & Technology Transfer Center (GITTC); the Life Vision Association for Development; and the Federation for the Rights of People with Special Needs.
The second programme will focus on supporting slum dwellers and includes 4 organisations: The Serious Work Association, The Roots Organization for Development, the Egyptian European Organization for Training and Development (EEOTD), and the Grants, Innovation & Technology Transfer Center (GITTC).
The last programme under the development project will work to improve the range of services available to the community. The organisations involved will be the Fayoum Agro Organic Development Association (FAODA), the Voice of Ancient Egypt Association, the American University in Cairo (AUC), and the Nahda Organization for Development in Egypt .
The Participatory Development Programme in urban areas (PDP) is an Egyptian-German development programme which is working towards developing informal areas in Egypt. The EU provides funds of €40m to the PDP, €6m of which the German Ministry of Cooperation provides. Other funds come from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Egyptian government.