Egypt’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Maait announced, on Saturday, that the government has started transferring EGP 1bn to pay the third batch of the second phase of the country’s exceptional aid to irregular labourers.

Irregular workers who have registered with the Ministry of Manpower are being granted three tranches of EGP 500 as part of the government’s financial aid to help those in need during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Maait said that more than EGP 5.3bn has been disbursed to irregular workers since the beginning of the pandemic. He also said that the salaries of regular employees in the affected sectors have been paid, especially tourism as well as spinning and weaving, through the Ministry of Manpower’s Emergency Fund.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Finance on Saturday, the Minister said that the period from July 2020 to January 2021 witnessed a 24% increase in spending on social protection programmes, to EGP 114bn. 

This reflects the state’s priority in providing the largest amount of support for the most vulnerable groups. He said that 100,000 new families of beneficiaries were added to the Takaful and Karama programme with the onset of the global health crisis.

These beneficiaries received cash assistance as of mid-April 2020, to help them under the difficult circumstances imposed by the pandemic.

Maait said that, at the beginning of the pandemic, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi directed for EGP 100bn to be allocated to finance the state’s plan to confront the repercussions of the coronavirus. 

With the beginning of the pandemic’s second wave, the President directed for the strengthening of the financial support package to confront the negative effects of the coronavirus. This would develop the most appropriate financial measures to deal with these challenges, and to ensure the preservation of the safe economic path achieved by the state, and the gains from economic reform.

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