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Egypt’s Planning Minister: Population growth control plan based on women’s economic empowerment

Cairo, December 1, 2020

Dr. Hala El-Said, Egypt’s Minister of Planning and Economic Development, said that controlling population growth rates is of the utmost importance, adding that human wealth is important, but there must be a balance between population increase and available resources.

El-Said added that the state is taking rapid steps to achieve economic growth, with investments being made in infrastructure, agriculture, and industry. The goal is to provide the highest quality of life and better services for citizens, and the state aims to reach an average of 2.4 children per woman by 2030, whereas the current number is 3.4 children per woman.

Egypt is working to intensify efforts nationwide, and the strategy has been developed to control the population increase through a set of axes aimed at improving population characteristics and focusing on investing more in health, education, and youth, El-Said explained. She pointed out that the population growth control plan is based on women’s economic empowerment and girls’ empowerment, especially women in the age group from 18 to 45 years, to provide them with a source of income that provides them with independence in making their own decisions.

El-Said reviewed the proposed implementation plan for the National Family Planning Project 2021-2023, which aims to control population growth by reducing fertility rates and will be implemented by the ministries of planning and economic development, health and population, social solidarity, international cooperation, and media, in addition to the National Population Council, the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, and the Demographic Center in Cairo. She noted that the plan relies on five axes, namely achieving economic empowerment, digital transformation, and service, cultural, media, educational and legislative intervention, explaining that the axis of achieving economic empowerment aims to empower women nationwide to earn a livelihood and gain financial independence, with priority given to the villages of the “A Dignified Life” initiative in the governorates most in need.

The minister pointed out that the second axis is service intervention, which aims to reduce the unmet need of women for family planning methods by making them free for all, aiming to reach 75% of the total number of women. In this regard, 1,500 doctors trained in family planning methods will be appointed, and they will be distributed to health facilities with the participation of the Ministry of Health nationwide.

El-Said said that the third axis relates to cultural, media and educational intervention, which aims to raise Egyptian citizens’ awareness of the basic concepts of the population issue and the social and economic effects of the population increase by formulating cultural messages that are broadcast through campaigns and in mosques and churches, in cooperation with the Ministry of Information.

El-Said noted that the Egypt Economic Summit will start next Wednesday, which will discuss issues about the repercussions of the coronavirus on global economies and the Egyptian economy in particular, the role of the private sector in investment, and the role of Egypt’s sovereign fund. She stressed that this summit is very important for Egypt, especially in light of the recent praise that the Egyptian economy has received from several international organizations.

These statements came during a telephone interview by Dr. Hala El-Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, for the “Confrontation” program broadcast on the Extra News channel.

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