WFP Launches New Collaboration to Support Mothers and Children in Time of COVID-19 Crisis in Partnership With the Ministry of Social Solidarity

August 18, 2020
Photo: WFP/Mohammad Gamal

CAIRO – In support of Egypt’s Ministry of Social Solidarity (MOSS), the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has started providing financial assistance to more than 40,000 mothers registered under the Ministry’s ‘Takaful and Karama’ program and their children under two years to prevent malnutrition and help families fulfill their nutritional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is under the auspices of MOSS and is part of its social protection program the ‘First 1,000 Days’ that is implemented in partnership with the U.N. World Food Programme.

Thanks to a contribution of $220,000 from the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) towards this program, the U.N. World Food Programme will be providing food assistance through cash transfers for more than 4,000 of these women and their children. This support is a first-of-its-kind between SFSD and the U.N. World Food Programme towards food security for such vulnerable communities.

“The ‘1000 Days of Life’ Program is key to the Ministry of Social Solidarity as it provides support to vulnerable pregnant and nursing mothers and their children under two guaranteeing healthy nutrition during a critical stage in the child’s development timeline. The negative effect of inadequate nutrition during this time is irreversible making this program a pivotal one,” said Minister of Social Solidarity Nivine El Kabbag.

“The effects of inadequate nutrition place a great burden on the heath and education services of the country as it limits the level of productivity of its citizens. It is therefore important to invest in the health and nutrition of the child from the beginning of the pregnancy and throughout the first two years of their life as this is considered an investment in the future of the country,” added Minister Nivine El Kabbag.

This assistance is part of the cooperation between the ministry and the U.N. World Food Programme working together to provide social protection to the most vulnerable communities and those most prone to the negative impacts of malnutrition; placing a huge economic burden on the country as a result of its impact on the health sector and the cognitive capabilities of the children and hence the productivity of the citizens.

“During these difficult times, it is critical to bring all efforts together to work towards supporting the most vulnerable who have been worst affected by the negative impact of this pandemic and WFP is supporting the government’s efforts to assist them,” said U.N. World Food Programme Representative and Country Director in Egypt Menghestab Haile. “We are especially keen on supporting mothers and children so they can get through this difficult time and help secure a healthy and safe future for these families and future generations.”

More families are struggling to make ends meet with limited or affected income as a result of the pandemic. “Improving the wellbeing of Egyptians is one of Sawiris Foundation’s primary priorities. We strive to ensure that Egypt’s most disadvantaged citizens can secure their most basic needs, particularly at a time of emergency such as the COVID-19 crisis,” said Executive Director of SFSD Noura Selim. “Our collaboration with WFP and MOSS, reinforces our commitment to sustainable development and to helping the Egyptian people overcome this pandemic safely.”

The U.N. World Food Programme is the sole UN agency in Egypt providing food security to the most vulnerable populations and continues to count on the contributions of donors to sustain and scale up assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Egypt throughout its COVID-19 response and recovery phases.

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About WFP | The United Nations World Food Programme – saving lives in emergencies and changing lives for millions through sustainable development. WFP works in more than 80 countries around the world, feeding people caught in conflict and disasters, and laying the foundations for a better future. | Follow us on Twitter @WFPUSA, @WFP_AR and @WFP_MENA

About Sawiris Foundation for Social Development | The Sawiris Foundation for Social Development was established in 2001 as one of the first national donor foundations in Egypt with an endowment from the Sawiris Family aiming at supporting development projects and programs implemented by NGOs in partnership with the private and public sectors. The foundation focuses on promoting the participation and empowerment of Egypt’s most underprivileged communities and improving their conditions by focusing on job creation, provision of high-quality education, addressing priority health topics, and community development.

  • www.sawirisfoundation.org
  • www.facebook.com/SawirisFoundation
  • www.twitter.com/SawirisSFSD

Contact:

  • Christine Hanna, WFP/Cairo, email: christine.hanna@wfp.org
  • Wessam Ragab, Senior Media & Communications Officer/Sawiris Foundation, email: ragab@Sawirisfoundation.org