Working to Reduce Extreme Poverty In Upper Egypt
In July 2018 the Bab Amal Graduation program was launched with the objective of reducing extreme poverty in Upper Egypt. BRAC UPGI is providing technical assistance on the program which is focused on rural households, particularly those with livestock as a primary source of income. Together with the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development (SFSD) , the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), the Egyptian Human Development Association (EHDA), and Giving Without Limits Association (GWLA), the Bab Amal pilot targets approximately 2,400 rural, extreme poor households in the Assiut and Sohag governorates of Upper Egypt, and women are the majority of participants. This coalition hopes to demonstrate the impact of Graduation and inform the national poverty reduction strategy. This Graduation program is a 24-month program implemented in batches, with the final batch aiming to complete the program in Fall 2022.
The Bab Amal program components include a one-time asset transfer that enables the household to build a sustainable livelihood such as sheep-rearing, chicken-defeathering, sewing, clothing sales, or other petty trade. This asset is complemented by coaching and business skills training to manage the livelihood and build long term gains, along with life skills training on nutrition, health and sanitation practices, and child labor and the importance of education. Participants are encouraged to save through the formalization of savings groups that meet bi-weekly and distribute micro-loans and financial literacy training. All participants receive consumption support, either from the program or the existing Takaful & Karama cash transfer program, to enable them to meet their basic needs during the program. Finally, participants are linked to local health services, a health fund, schools, and Village Solidarity Committees which will continue to promote social inclusion and messaging on topics such as gender equality.