The Prime Minister of Egypt, Eng. Ibrahim Mahlab, witnessed, yesterday, the signings of delivery protocols for four of the UAE development projects in Egypt spanning education, healthcare and transportation.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Head of the UAE/Egypt Liaison Office, signed the protocols on behalf of the UAE government with several Egyptian counterparts including Dr. Galal Saeed, Governor of Cairo, Dr. Moheb Al Rifai Minister of Education and Dr. Adil Adawy, Minister of Health, as well as Minister of Local Development, Lieutenant Adil Labib. Also in attendance was the Minster of International Cooperation, Najla Al Ahwany.
The protocols included the delivery of 100 fully-equipped schools in 18 governorates, 78 fully-equipped clinics in 23 governorates, four bridges in three governorates and 600 public city buses in Cairo. The projects are part of the UAE social and infrastructure development program in Egypt. The total program is projected to benefit more than ten million Egyptians and to create approximately 900,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
The Prime Minister of Egypt said: "Egyptians appreciate and greatly value the support of the UAE leadership and its people. We will not forget this unwavering stand and its contribution to the citizens of Egypt who need it the most. These projects reflect tangible proof of the breadth and depth of our bilateral relations and the strength of our decades long historic ties."
He highlighted that the UAE social and infrastructure development projects in Egypt address real challenges that exist in several vital sectors, referencing two of the previously delivered projects; the 10MW "UAE People's Solar Power Plant in Siwa" and 50,000 housing units delivered to the ministry of housing in June of this year. He said that Egyptians have already begun feeling the direct, positive impact of these projects – especially in essential and vital sectors such as healthcare, education and transportation."
He explained that the new schools will bolster the existing Ministry of Education program by expanding its ability to educate the youth and battle illiteracy while the clinics in rural areas will greatly address challenges in providing women with necessary healthcare and children with much needed and timely vaccinations.
Meanwhile, the new bridges, constructed in three different governorates and the 600 public city buses will serve to reduce congestion and accidents.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber said: "I am honoured to relay the greetings of the UAE leadership to the leadership and citizens of Egypt," adding "I am pleased today to deliver to the Egyptian government and its people these important projects that aim to alleviate the challenges faced by everyday citizens in rural areas."
Al Jaber explained that all projects were chosen based on the objective of immediate, positive and sustainable impact and the social and economic wellbeing of the Egyptian citizen. He added: "The UAE has historically placed great importance on education and healthcare as catalysts for sustainable growth - and as such, these were the first projects prioritised."
He emphasised that the record time in which the projects were delivered is proof of the success of the unique, collaborative and efficient approach adopted by the UAE.
"I believe that the collaboration, continued coordination and diligent follow up with our partners in Egypt was the key to our collective success."
The new schools will fulfil nearly seven percent of the needs in rural villages and include 1668 classrooms covering 67,000 students in their first year. The schools will also contribute to a reduction in dropout rates and tardiness due to long distances and over-crowded classrooms.
Meanwhile, the clinics will provide 780,000 rural residents with easy and immediate access to healthcare and will fulfil nearly 20 percent of the immediate requirements.
The bridges will provide nearly three million commuters easy road access and reduce congestion and road accidents. The bridges will also account for 15 percent of the planned bridge construction program in Egypt and cover five percent of the railroad crossing reduction program.
Similarly, the 600 public city buses will provide 600,000 daily commuters with safe passage and reduce private vehicular traffic congestion as well as traffic accidents in Cairo.
The UAE's social and infrastructure development program aims at alleviating daily challenges and achieving immediate and tangible results for the Egyptian citizen. The program includes projects in healthcare, education, transportation, energy, job creation, food security, housing and infrastructure support.
To date, various projects have been delivered, including a 10MW power plant in Siwa, 50,000 housing units across 18 governorates and a vocational training and placement program focusing on youth and women.
Commenting on these landmark achievements, Dr. Adil Adawy, Egyptian Minister of Health, lauded the UAE social development program in Egypt, especially in the healthcare field, emphasising that the new healthcare clinics will create a marked positive shift in healthcare access for those most in need in Egyptian rural areas.
He said: "The fully-equipped healthcare clinics, spanning 23 governorates, will alleviate various challenges in rural areas including proximity to healthcare, quality of healthcare and 24 hour access to healthcare and pharmaceuticals."
He added: "These clinics are in line with the Egyptian government's vision of ensuring access to healthcare across all parts of the country. In these clinics will enable us to provide Egyptians with daily necessities such as regular and timely vaccinations for children and pregnant women, immediate attention to contagious ailments, nutrition monitoring, hormonal tests, vitamin deficiency tests, family planning, dental services, emergency services, lab work and more."
He added: "The Egyptian people will not forget this stand; one that is rooted in the close relations established by the late founding father of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, May God rest His soul in peace."
In his statement, Dr. Moheb Al Rifai'i, Egypt Minister of Education, said that the 100 new schools developed and delivered in 18 governorates across Egypt by the United Arab Emirates will largely contribute to the mitigation of the various challenges faced in the education sector in Egypt.
He said: "These schools will serve nearly 10% of our Egyptian population – especially in rural areas; which will directly reduce drop-out rates and chronic tardiness – traditionally a result of a lack of proximity. On a larger scale these schools will help reduce illiteracy rates in Egypt at large."
The Minister highlighted that the locations of all schools were carefully chosen to ensure that they targeted the largest possible population of students with a division between coastal (56 schools) and non-coastal (44 schools) areas.
He lauded the efforts of the UAE in delivering the schools and the expedited and efficient manner in which they were constructed, calling it a "true reflection of the importance of this project and its contribution to Egypt's social development."
Major General Adil Labib, Egypt's Minister of National Development, emphasised on the importance of the new bridges describing the project as "a strategic and practical project' that address the congestion and accident challenges in high population areas."
He highlighted that the project includes two bridges in the Giza governorate (Ard El Liwa Bridge) and (Bashteel Bridge) that serves both Barjeel and Bashteel; as well as Al Shoun Bridge in the Al Gharbia Governorate and the Talkha Bridge in Daqhaliya Governorate that connects five different roads.
The Minister said that the new bridges have covered 15% of the existing bridge planning requirements in Egypt and 5% of the current railroad-crossing program.
Dr Galal Saeed, Governor of Cairo, commended the UAE's initiative to donate 600 buses for enhancing the public transport system in Egypt's capital city of Cairo. Received by the Cairo Transportation Authority, the buses will provide commuters with greater flexibility in planning their daily movement across the city while improving and streamlining traffic flow in the streets of Cairo and surrounding.
Dr Saeed said: "The efforts taken by the UAE to support Egypt and its people are well-documented in history. Our two countries share long-standing bilateral relations. This new initiative builds on the strong ties between the UAE and Egypt that were first established by the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan."
The buses donated by the UAE have been assembled according to predetermined strength and weight specifications, taking into account durability and security of the commuters. As part of this priority and in line with the UAE's commitment to integrating best-in-class standards, the buses are fitted out with special cooling water engines as well as state-of-the-art equipment for safety, control and automatic speed operation (EDC). The doors of the buses are automated through an electric antenna system to facilitate easy access when boarding and disembarking from the bus.
With 50% of the busses manufactured in Egypt and the remaining 50 percent in Abu Dhabi, UAE, the vehicles were assembled and delivered to the Cairo Transportation Authority in record time