Egypt designates schools, youth centres to hand out social support in new coronavirus measure

Egypt designates schools, youth centres to hand out social support in new coronavirus measure
2 min read
03 April, 2020
Egypt announces new coronavirus measure, taking load off its social support centres by designating its now-closed schools and youth centres to distribute the money.
The new safety measure impacts Millions registered on the social support program [AFP]
Schools and youth centres in Egypt will be used to distribute cash to millions relying on the country's social support program in order to divert crowds from existing centres, the Social Solidarity Ministry announced on Thursday.

Authorities said that 2.4 million pensioners who receive EGP 1,000 (63.5$) will be able to collect their money from all designated areas over three days starting on Monday. 

Over 2000 social support offices, as well as designated ATMs, can also be used to collect the support money. 

According to the Ministry, another 2.5 million who receive EGP 1,000 to 2,000 can get the money from all designated areas from April 5 to 7.

Egypt is on partial lockdown for its second week, and 
schools and universities have closed on March 15, as part of Covid-19 containment measures introduced by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. 

Earlier this week, Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed was quoted by Egyptian media saying she expects the spread of the coronavirus worldwide to be contained within three weeks. This expectation, reports said, will be reflected in the measures Egypt takes to stem the spread.

Egypt has undergone profound economic, social and political transformations since its revolution in 2011.

Some of these transformations have resulted in currency devaluation, increased inflation and a rise in unemployment.

This has increased the country's poverty rate, resulting in more families relying on the government's social support program – which also has partnerships with private institutions and insurance companies, and includes Conditional Cash Transfers to vulnurable families.

Egypt has imposed a nationwide curfew from 7 p.m to 6 a.m., which came into effect on March 25, and has suspended all government services – with the exception of healthcare. 

Malls have also been ordered to shut during curfew hours, while cafes have been shuttered entirely.

Some telecoms and financial institutions have introduced online and call center services away to deter their customers from visiting branches.

Read also: Egypt backtracks on coronavirus policy forcing suspected patients to pay for quarantine costs after uproar

Egypt's Central Bank has also directed local banks to postpone credit liabilities for six months, starting from March 22.

In its daily report, the World Health Organisation on Thursday reported 69 new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Egypt, bringing the total of confirmed infections in the country to 779.

A total of 52 people have died in Egypt from complications as a result of infection.