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Thursday, 3 January 2019

El Sisi launches “A Decent Life” initiative

President Abdel Fattah El Sisi launched yesterday a new initiative, dubbed “A Decent Life,” to improve living conditions for the country’s most needy. The president called on state bodies and civil society to come together to implement projects under the initiative this year (see tweets here and here and here). The story dominated the airwaves last night, leaving the talking heads with little else to talk about.

The concept behind A Decent Life is to create a healthy environment to live in, a solid education system, and job prospects, among others, Social Solidarity Minister Ghada Wali told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer. Wali said she is set to hold her first meeting with civil society organizations today to pool their ideas and resources. The ministry already has a database of the country’s poorest villages, which will be prioritized, she noted (watch, runtime: 06:38). Wali also had a similar chat with Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal (watch, runtime: 11:56). Kamal lauded the initiative, but said that El Sisi’s involvement seems to always be necessary to get these ideas off the ground (watch, runtime: 07:48).

The initiative is proof that the state is not clamping down on civil society, and instead wants to work side-by-side with NGOs, Cabinet spokesman Nader Saad said on Al Hayah Al Youm (watch, runtime: 01:34). NGOs that have promising project ideas but lack funding will now be able to get backup and financing from the government, allowing them to hit the ground running, Saad said (watch, runtime: 01:35).

The Housing Ministry is already planning on implementing wastewater and sewage projects in some 347 villages across the country, ministry spokesman Hany Younes told Al Hayah Al Youm’s Lobna Assal (watch, runtime: 03:50).

Masaa DMC kept within the development theme with a wrap-up of the development projects the government undertook last year. Host Osama Kamal had a chat with the Slum Development Fund’s executive director, Khaled Seddik, who noted that the fund has completed two housing projects at a combined cost of around EGP 1.2 bn, and has more in the pipeline (watch, runtime: 11:15). Fayoum Governor Essam Saad also updated Kamal on his governorate’s development projects (watch, runtime: 15:06).

Elsewhere last night: The country’s upper class must bear the brunt of the economic reform program, since it is more financially comfortable, political commentator Mostafa El Fekky told Yahduth fi Masr’s Sherif Amer (watch, runtime: 02:03).

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