Investment bank EFG-Hermes Financial has allocated EGP 50m for its sub-organisation Hermes Foundation for Social Development in order to pursue development projects in several villages in Upper Egypt beginning early 2015, according to the bank’s timetable for implementation. The project aims to provide services to 30,000 citizens.
Mona Zulfikar, chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Hermes Foundation for Social Development, stated: “The initiative is meant to help alleviate poverty, develop health care, education, housing, water and sanitation services, develop and finance small projects that work to create job opportunities by supporting development initiatives in these integrated areas.”
In a press release, Hermes also announced that it has already put in an EGP 20m donation to the “Long Live Egypt” fund, which was formed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to fund development projects away from the public treasury.
Yasser El Mallawany, co-CEO of Hermes, stated that his “company is interested in finding solutions to help balance the economic, social and environmental goals to ensure a dignified life for members of the community in which we operate”.
Karim Awad, the company’s other CEO, added: “The group is involved in sustainable development to alleviate the problems of poverty, health, education, food security, etc., which are all major challenges that cannot be solved just through donations and grants, but also through the implementation of projects which can ensure sustainable growth.”
Hanaa Helmy, CEO of the EFG Hermes Foundation for Social Development, said: “This funding represents a continuation of a long series of programmes aimed to improve social participation, and this funding aims to combat poverty in the villages most in need.”
She added: “In the past, we have worked on a project to reduce poverty through sustainable development called ‘Vision 2008’, which was intended to rebuild and develop Ezbet Yacoub to provide a better life for the Egyptian citizen.”
Hermes identified Qena and Sohag as two of the provinces the company will most focus on within its development plan, with 214 villages in Sohag and 48 in Qena. The provinces are known for being some of the poorest villages in Egypt, given their estimated unemployment rate of more than 60%. The projects will seek to raise the capacity of the infrastructure of housing, electricity, water and sanitation projects, and will establish human development projects and vocational training.
The Hermes projects will also work to improve economic development in these villages through the launch of new income-generating projects which will hopefully help increase the living standards of more than 30,000 Egyptian citizens.