During UN General Assembly Week, Minister of International Cooperation, Dr. Rania Al Mashat, visited a Sun Drying Tomato Unit project in Baghdadi village in Luxor, which aims to increase the market value of Egypt’s crops and create sustainable communities through integrating gender equality.
The minister noted that the project will invest in women’s role in agriculture by only employing women and providing 200 seasonal job opportunities, as they are regarded as the backbone of the sector and represent around 40% of the labor force. With a high demand for sun dried products in Europe, the project will also contribute to protecting food security through reducing crop losses and increase farmers’ incomes by 30%, helping raise Egypt’s market value in exports and ensure that families and households become more sustainable. “This project illustrates the power of partnerships in achieving human development goals and up-scaling efforts to create impact. With our partner, the World Food Programme, I was inspired to see the determination of many women to not only create a life opportunity for themselves, but also for their families and communities,” Dr. Rania Al Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, said. For his part, WFP director Menghestab Haile noted that the projects integrate gender equality and women's empowerment in all projects to ensure real community transformation, so that every individual in the household benefits. “The knowledge and skills generated today by farmers and women in Egypt will be shared to Africa as a whole," he added. The visit comes within the context of the ministry’s celebration of the United Nation's 75th anniversary, which has revealed the urgency of cooperation and strengthening partnerships to deliver the SDGs and the 2030 agenda. To celebrate the UN’s 75th anniversary, the ministry launched the ‘Beyond Food’ video to showcase the history of Egypt’s partnership with the WFP in their efforts to end hunger and transform communities. The ministry also announced recent expansions and renovations in several projects, which will increase the total number of beneficiaries under the small farmer resilience programme to one million farmers located in 500 villages by 2023. In line with its People at the core, Projects in action and Purpose as the driver principles, the project helps achieve goal 1 for no poverty, goal 2 for end hunger, goal 5 for gender equality, goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities and goal 17 for partnerships for the goals.