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Egypt Ranked the First in Region For Supporting Women During the Pandemic

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Minister of International Cooperation Rania al-Mashat announced that Egypt has made it to the first place in the Middle East and West Asia regions for standing by women during the pandemic, by taking 21 measures in supporting their economic security.

The news came just on time of the International Day of the Girl Child, which was yesterday. Egypt’s top ranking is featured in UNDP’s report.

“Congratulations to Dr. Maya Morsi, we continue to work together to bridge the gender gap,” Al-Mashat said in a tweet.

“Some 63 per cent of all gender-sensitive measures in Northern Africa and Western Asia focus on preventing and/or responding to violence against women and girls. Most of these measures have been taken in Western Asia. In Northern Africa, the countries that have taken such measures are Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.” the report said.

“The tracker records 38 measures taken by Egypt in response to COVID-19. Of these measures, 21 have been coded as gender-sensitive. This includes seven measures targeting women’s economic security, three measures addressing unpaid care work, and 11 measures responding to violence against women,” the report added.

“To support women’s economic security during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Social Solidarity (MoSS) is planning to add 60,000 families to Takaful and Karama cash transfer programmes, increasing its budget from EGP 18.5 billion to EGP 19.3 billion (USD 1.75 billion to 1.22 billion) and reaching a total of 3.6 million households by 2021 (including around 16 million beneficiaries). These programmes mainly target women heads-of-households.” The report explaining the efforts of Egyptian government’s in supporting women.

 

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Sukun Studios: A Yoga and Wellness Platform

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At a time when technology has made our lives easier and where we all have greater means to be connected, cases of anxiety, depression, disconnection, self loathing and loneliness are flying through the roof.

The challenge most of us face is finding happiness; but happiness is fickle, so the real challenge is to find your… Sukun. Sukun Studios is a hub that focuses on providing you with the elements that help you overcome the emotional and mental challenges holding you back in the present day.

Launched in the middle of the pandemic that took over the world this years, Sukunstudios.com is the first Yoga and Wellness platform in Egypt and they compete with “Alo Moves” throughout the Middle East. The online platform aims at providing high quality classes, series and podcasts for Yoga, Pilates, meditation and more.

The inclusive platform features some of the top instructors in Egypt with more specialists joining from across the Middle East providing lessons and classes, shot and produced at a premium standard. Sukun members get access to all the content and series that they can follow anytime from the comfort of their home or from any place they wish.

The platform was launched by Sarah Abdelmoneim, a highly experienced yoga specialist also the host of Nile FM’s Big Breakfast show. Sarah spent her life working her way up to senior positions in the corporate world until she decided to pursue her infatuation for self healing and wellness and moved to Bali for a year. During her time in India and Bali, She became certified in many disciplines in wellness with the goal of returning home to bring with her a treasure trove of knowledge to launch the brand that would be the catalyst for self healing and growth in the region.

In a matter of months, the platform grew attracting more members with growing popularity. Leading Sarah to launch the Summer Program in the North Coast. Sukun Studios launched classes in both Bianchi and Marassi with a plentiful portfolio of teachers and classes on the lovely beachfront.

Sukun launched two key retreats, one at the North Coast in July in collaboration with ‘Be Good to You’ and recently this October in Nuweiba retreat in collaboration with nine healing vibes at Aqua Sun Sinai. Sarah along with three amazing teachers, Laila Farouk, Cherine Samir and Noha (Zelphira) took the participants on a journey of ‘Rebirth’ through the use of yoga, sound healing, breath-work, hiking and exploring the gem that is Sinai.

Sarah hopes that her brand and the activities they provide are able to help everyone to “silence the chatter of the minds, to connect with their true selves.” She hopes that through the brand, people can find their “SUKUN”. The brand is growing by the day with numerous ideas and new concepts that are yet to be unleashed.

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Almost 700 Green Projects to Be Implemented By 2021 in Egypt

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Egypt is planning on implementing around 700 green projects as part of Egypt’s fiscal plan for 2020-21, these projects will cost around EGP447.3 billion ($28.4 billion).

According to Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed, they are 691 projects to be exact and they represent 14% of the fiscal plan’s total public investment. This percentage is also expected to increase to 30 percent for 2021-2022.

The minister also added that there will incentives offered to ministries that shift towards green projects by prioritizing financing for them.

Workshops were held by the ministry to go through the guide on sustainability standards, which reflects the government’s vision in expanding sustainable development into its planning system.

Mohamed Farid, head of the infrastructure sector at the ministry, said that these projects that meet the sustainable standards will be prioritized over projects at the evaluation stage.

Also worth mentioning is that Thursday witnessed the launch of Egypt’s first green bond issue on the London Stock Exchange. The government green bond issue, worth $750 million for five years, is the largest in the Middle East and North Africa, and the first of its kind on the exchange.

 

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Waste Management Law Issued For the First Time to Regulate Egypt’s Plastic Waste

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Constant efforts have been exerted the past years to limit and reduce the single use plastic bags. From awareness campaigns to countless initiatives, Egypt has seen a great progress environmentally and now another leap has been made with the issuing of a waste management law!

The law will regulate the free plastic bag at retail and limit the single use plastic bags imports and exports. This is an attempt to regulate the disposal of plastic wastes in Egypt and enhances Egypt’s waste handling and recycling processes.

According to a statement from Environment Minister Yasmine Fouad, a new state agency will handle Egypt’s waste management challenges after President Abdel Fattah El Sisi signed into law a bill that would regulate the industry. Moreover, in doing so and implementing such strategies, it’s expected that the move will attract foreign investment in Egypt’s waste management. 

The bill also includes investment incentives as well as other measures to encourage garbage collectors, small companies, private contractors, and recycling centers to join the formal economy.

Also worth mentioning is that International Cooperation Minister, Rania Mashat has recently just announced two impressive partnerships with the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which will implement a 200-million-dollar project for improving the quality of air to combat climate change and reduce has emissions in Cairo.

This comes as a great stride to end plastic waste in Egypt that has long been a great issue facing our community.

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