The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) signed an agreement with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to implement an initiative for local development in Egypt and to finance small-scale development projects for youth aimed at reducing illegal migration and supporting Egypt’s sustainable development strategy, known as Vision 2030.
According to Niven Gamea, executive director of SMEDA, the mechanisms used in the implementation of development projects will be innovative ones to contribute to reducing illegal migration.
She added that a number of criteria have been set for the selection of the participating associations in these projects, including being registered with the Ministry of Social Solidarity, having been established for at least three years, and having previous experience in the implementation of development projects and initiatives, in addition to having a suitable administrative system and equipment in the targeted geographical areas.
According to Gamea, the governorate of Assiut has been selected for the first trial, as it is one of the largest illegal emigrant-exporting governorates and one of the poorest area in the country.
She noted that the authority will involve local communities to identify the needs of the project areas and submit proposals for projects to be funded.
According to Laurent de Bock, head of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) mission in Egypt, improving the working environment in Egypt is an important goal to strengthen Egypt’s Vision 2030, noting that the involvement of Egyptians abroad in the implementation of the project of local development initiatives is a key element of the organisation’s strategy for Egypt in 2018, stressing that the new partnership is of great importance to support the country at the current time.
The initiative is part of a large project called Initiatives for Local Development in Egypt, which is supported by Egyptians abroad, funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, and the implementation of the International Organisation for Migration in Egypt in partnership with the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs.
The aim of this initiative is to strengthen institutional mechanisms to involve Egyptian expatriates in local economic development in Egypt.