Frank Hartmann, German Ambassador to Cairo, and Praveen Agrawal, Representative and Country Director of Egypt at World Food Programme (WFP), held a press conference with the journalists accompanying the ambassador during his Aswan tour, which began on February 26 and continued until Thursday, March 2.
The press conference came after a field visit by the German ambassador in Cairo to the village of Raghama in the Kom Ombo centre. This visit was followed by many development projects in the centre.
The German ambassador to Cairo stated that this was his first official visit to the city of Aswan. He noted that it is very imperative to check out the projects supported by the German government through the World Food Program. This is because Germany is the largest supporter of the World Food Program in Egypt and the world.
Hartmann emphasised that supporting this program in Egypt during the current period is very important. He pointed out that the activity of WFP is related to community building, such as (community schools that give children who have dropped out of basic education an opportunity to integrate into education). This comes in line with the school feeding program and A Decent Life initiative, launched by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
The ambassador added that he visited several projects supported by the World Food Programme, such as empowering women to enter the labour market, health care, and agricultural projects that taught farmers how to increase yields using drip irrigation and standardise agricultural holdings, stressing that Germany is in the process of increasing allocations to support more program activities in Egypt.
Hartmann confirmed that there are several sources of humanitarian aid, through the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has provided 11 million euros to support the World Food Program in Egypt annually since 2018, and another source is the exchange of debt with the Ministry of International Cooperation, the size of which is 61 million euros, and redirecting it to the World Food Program. And another 20 million euros were added, expressing his hope that these allocations will increase in the future through “debt swaps.”
Agrawal said, “No one can work alone. In Egypt, there is a strong government that desires reform, and we work through this government as well as several ministries. We support its ideas and programs, such as agriculture, international cooperation, social solidarity, and development.” local, and others.”
The Director of the World Food Programme in Egypt added, “We have supported the Egyptian government in defining its priorities, and we will redouble our efforts. The ideas are Egyptian, but we are helping the government implement them. The current plan expires in 2023.
Agrawal stressed that women are the backbone of all these projects and bring about change. He mentioned that the beneficiaries in Aswan are currently about 20 villages and 6,000 farmers, in addition to most of the villages of Upper Egypt and the Delta. These beneficiaries are recipients of the World Food Programme.