File photo: A family planning counselor talks to Egyptian mothers at a new clinic in Fayoum province, southwest of Cairo, Egypt February 19, 2019. REUTERS
The convoys are part of the country’s national project for the development of the Egyptian family, which aims to raise awareness of the benefits of small families in order to reduce the rate of population growth.
The project, which will provide free family planning and other specialized medical services to women and girls, is expected to be implemented over three years, starting in governorates that are currently under the first phase of the presidential initiative focused on Decent Life campaigns.
The convoys will be launched in the governorates of Sohag, Qalioubiya, Gharbiya, Sharqiya, Fayoum and Beheira, said Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
Each convoy will offer awareness seminars on a number of issues, including child marriage, female genital mutilation and child labor, said Hossam Abbas, head of the ministry’s Population and Family Planning Department.
In late February, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sissi launched the National Egyptian Family Development Project to address overcrowding.
Officials say Egypt’s population, which currently stands at 103 million, is expected to reach 153.7 million by 2050, requiring the state to double its infrastructure projects over the next 30 years.
The Egyptian Family project addresses the health, social, family and economic dimensions of the overpopulation crisis.
In 2020, Egypt launched a two-year initiative called “Two Is Enough” to encourage people to have fewer children.
Last year, the Ministry of Health began providing all forms of contraception to women free of charge.
Egypt’s president has repeatedly warned of the negative impacts of overpopulation on the country’s economic development prospects.
El-Sisi called on the government to work to reduce the annual population growth rate to allow citizens to benefit from the fruits of development efforts.