Egypt - The Ministry of Planning and Economic Development convened with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) to outline the execution of the financial inclusion strategy for the second phase of “Decent Life,” a national project aimed at uplifting the Egyptian countryside.

Gamil Helmy, Assistant Minister of Planning and General Supervisor of “Decent Life,” alongside CBE’s Khaled Bassiouni, Director General of the Financial Inclusion Department, reviewed the progress made in the initiative’s first phase. This phase saw the installation of 1,208 ATMs and the establishment of 127 bank branches by September 2023, enhancing access to diverse financial services like electronic wallets, internet banking, prepaid cards, and QR codes.

Helmy emphasized the pivotal role of financial inclusion in achieving sustainable development goals within rural Egypt. This included the disbursement of medium, small, and micro-loans totaling EGP 26.3 billion and mitigating pollution by reducing transportation needs for financial services.

Future steps involve intensive collaboration with CBE and partner banks to assess and address the financial service needs of villages entering the second phase of “Decent Life.” Helmy commended the contributions of CAPMAS, CBE, Egypt Impact Lab, and Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab towards these efforts.

Bassiouni highlighted the strategy’s goals to enhance villagers’ quality of life through improved financial infrastructure, increased awareness of banking services, and support for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The meeting also saw participation from Ahmed Al-Shimi, Deputy Head of the Programs and Performance Unit at the Ministry of Planning; Mohammed Sharif, Ahmed Reda, and Omar Metwally of the “Decent Life” team; and Mohammed Abdel-Dhaher and Hussam Al-Basiouni from CBE.

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