In a question and answer session held on Sunday, 5 December, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave directives for the government to establish a fund to support disabled Egyptians.
The session was held at an event celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), where Al-Sisi requested that Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, who was in attendance, and the House of Representative draft legislation allowing people to contribute to the fund. The President further noted that he prefers the name ‘Differently Abled Fund’ to ‘Disability Fund.’
During the event, Al-Sisi also called for more specialised training for teachers working with children with special education needs, and gave directives for the recently established Decent Life initiative to include supporting the needs of disabled Egyptians.
Among the attendees of the event were Minister of Social Solidarity Nevine El-Kabbag and Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy. El-Kabbag stated that currently, 4,500 NGOs nationwide are working to support Egyptians with disabilities and that the Ministry of Social Solidarity was joined by Nasser Social Bank and the ‘Atta Fund’ to secure job opportunities for disabled Egyptians.
According to data published by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics in 2020, there are 20 million people with disabilities living in Egypt.
The IDPD, which is observed internationally on 3 December, was first established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1992. This year, the UN has called for the “leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible, and sustainable post-COVID-19 world.”
“The commitment to realizing the rights of persons with disabilities is not only a matter of justice; it is an investment in a common future,” reads the page dedicated to the IDPD.