In April, the World Bank published an article that estimated that the COVID-19 could around 49 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. It is also likely to hit the extreme poor the hardest as they are often deprived from necessary medical services.
For instance, in Qena governorate in Egypt, with a population of 3.2 million, it needs around 100,000 masks daily to protect its community.
Wearing face masks in public places has also become mandatory, with a EGP 4,000 fine for violators.
Several initiatives have been launched by the government, the private sector and civil society to protect vulnerable communities from infection and ensure that they have access to protective gear.
Minister of Trade and Industry Niveen Gamee announced on Sunday that Egypt aims to manufacture 30 million fabric face masks monthly to meet the demand, Ahram Online reports.
Recently, UN Development Program Egypt with the Ministry of International Cooperation, in partnership with AltFinLab and the Neya Foundation, launched the Kemama campaign to fund the production of medical masks in Upper Egypt.
The masks will be produced by Upper Egyptian women part of El Nidaa Foundation, which is carried out through the Ministry of International Cooperation and has recently shifted its production from ready-made-garments to face masks.
Until May 2020, they produced around 3,000 masks a day. However, this is still not sufficient to protect the people of Upper Egypt.