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UNFPA, EU and Ministry of Youth take Destination Egypt to Qena

UNFPA, the European Union and the Ministry of Youth and Sports took the second round of the Destination Egypt 2030 activities to the governorate of Qena on March 7-9, where they engaged with hundreds of young people to raise their awareness around different population issues. 

Over 1500 participants joined the governor of Qena Abdel Hamid al-Haggan, UNFPA representative Dr Aleksandar Bodiroza and Head of the Human and Social Development at the European Union Delegation to Egypt Jean-Marie Moreau for a 3 km run along the Qena corniche. The run coincided with International Women’s Day and aimed to raise awareness around women empowerment.

Actor Ahmed Magdy and professional football freestyler Yorok also took part in the run.

In his address, Bodiroza lauded the participation of young people in the initiative. “You give us hope that the goals we set for 2030 are within reach,” he said.

He also thanked the European Union for its support in tackling developmental challenges in Egypt.

On his part, Moreau said that in order to see prosperity and development, it is necessary to bring population growth to sustainable levels. He added that the European Union stands with the government of Egypt on its journey to achieve sustainable demographic growth.

“The European Union is convinced that the government of Egypt’s efforts to reduce demographic growth are a cornerstone for meeting aspirations of young men and women like you,” he said.

The run was followed by a concert by High Dam, Al-Mena, Saher El-Zoghby and Yasmine Zaki, as part of UNFPA’s Music for Development Initiative. The song lyrics included messages about women empowerment, FGM among other issues. This was followed by a performance by Yorok.

Other activities included a capacity building workshop and an interactive theater performance tackling issues such as early marriage, followed by a discussion between participants on gender equality.

This month’s activities are funded by the European Union and come as part of its support to Egypt’s National Population Strategy with a grant of 27 Million Euros.

Bodiroza and al-Haggan also joined a group of young people for a policy dialogue, along with representatives from the governor’s office, and the Ministries of Youth and Sports, Education, Social Solidarity and Health and Population. The dialogue explored ways through which the youth can better engage in development.

The Destination Egypt 2030 initiative concluded its activities on March 9 with a visit to the Dandara Temple.

The initiative aims at mobilizing young people to address developmental challenges through active participation in sports, music, art, community mobilization and capacity building initiatives.

The initiative involves 3-day monthly activities across Egypt’s governorates promoting different developmental issues. It also seeks to promote different historical and touristic sites within the governorates.