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For nearly four decades, the American people have partnered with the people of Egypt to promote an environment where all groups in Egyptian society – including women and minorities – can lead healthy, productive lives. USAID’s program in Egypt, totaling nearly $30 billion since 1975, has directly and fundamentally supported gains such as a reduction in infant and maternal mortality rates, improvement in reading ability in the early grades, and an increase in marketable skills – leading to jobs and lasting prosperity in Egypt.
Our programs are designed in coordination with Egyptians to create a high number of jobs locally, with the benefits directly reaching the Egyptian people. Programs seek to improve agricultural and water productivity and enhance livelihoods in rural zones where poverty and lack of jobs, especially for youth and women issues. USAID helps to ensure that future generations will have the tools to succeed and provides opportunities for Egypt’s large youth population as it enters higher education and the workforce. We seek to enhance the contributions of civil society as a whole – with a focus on women and youth – to build institutions and to achieve political and economic reforms.
ECONOMIC GROWTH: USAID is increasing its support of more equitable economic growth through creating jobs and strengthening the private sector – especially in the high-employing agriculture and tourism sectors. USAID works with the people of Egypt and private sector partners to encourage entrepreneurship; improve the employability of Egypt’s youth through job skills training; and provide support and financing for micro, small, and medium enterprises, in particular through capitalizing initially a $60 million Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund. USAID is providing coaching, training, and tailored technical assistance to increase the exporting capacities of small and medium enterprises in order to expand export sales, buyer contacts, and markets. In agriculture, USAID is forming strategic business alliances to increase the production of sustainable, higher value products and linking poor, small-holder farmers to high-value commercial markets, with a particular focus on increased water use efficiency and high participation by women. In tourism, USAID works with local organizations to conserve Egypt’s rich cultural and natural heritage; these efforts also increase skills development and employment. Conservation work at some 70 sites throughout the country has included groundwater lowering at the Giza Plateau, protecting the Sphinx and other internationally and historically significant cultural treasures.
EDUCATION: USAID’s support for improving children’s ability to read in early grades and launching two state-of-the-art science, technology, engineering, and mathematics high schools has led to significant improvements in achievement for Egyptian students, leading the Egyptian government to scale these activities nationwide. Other activities that contribute to improving the quality of education include a focus on innovative training for teachers, curriculum and materials development, decentralization of the education system, and policy reform. USAID is focused on strengthening the higher education sector and aligning the skills of graduates with market needs. Through the U.S.-Egypt Higher Education Initiative (HEI), USAID is increasing scholarship assistance for a diverse range of Egyptians, including women and economically disadvantaged students, to study in Egypt and America in disciplines critical to Egypt’s economy. Through this Initiative, USAID is also supporting partnerships between higher education institutions in Egypt and the U.S. and linkages with the private sector to improve the relevance of higher education and to ensure alignment of the generation of human capital with economic activity and national development objectives. USAID encourages joint U.S. and Egypt fellowships and research grants to promote advanced science and technology development and increase the exchange of knowledge on research projects that have strong potential for near-term results in areas of top priority for Egypt such as agriculture, health, energy, and water.
HEALTH: USAID’s support has contributed to a significant reduction in the infant, child, and maternal mortality rates and a major increase in immunization coverage against major diseases for all Egyptian children: the percentage of fully immunized children increased from 35 percent in 1988 to 92 percent in 2008. USAID is focused on improving health behaviors among target populations, improving technical capacity of targeted health services, and improving management capacity within the health sector. USAID uses the Global Health Initiative’s principles to implement evidence-based programs to strengthen the capacity of the Egyptian health systems in improving the health of Egyptians. USAID’s programs address key technical areas, including maternal neonatal and child health, nutrition, and infectious diseases and emerging pandemic threats.
GOVERNING JUSTLY AND DEMOCRATICALLY: USAID is working in partnership with the Egyptian people to strengthen the administration of and access to justice, promote good governance, combat and prevent violence against women, combat trafficking in persons, and promote women's empowerment. Our works supports the energy, commitment, and accomplishments of the Egyptian people in their transition to an inclusive, representative government through activities that focus on transparent electoral processes and empowerment of marginalized groups to participate more fully in democratic processes.
Last updated: October 22, 2015