Dr. Nasr Inaugurates the First Artificial Limbs Center in Marsa Matrouh

21 October 2016
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On 21/10/2016, the Minister of International Cooperation Dr. Sahar Nasr visited Marsa Matrouh Governorate where she inaugurated the first artificial limbs center in presence of the Governor Lieutenant Alaa Abuzeid, EU Delegation’s Chargé d'Affaires Mr. Reinhold Brender, UNDP Resident Representative Dr. Mostafa bin El-Maleeh and USAID Mission Director Mrs. Sherry Carlinthere. 
 
They witnessed the delivery of projects and financial support worth USD 1 million from development partners to landmine victims. 
 
The Minister was given a tour of the artificial limbs center that was equipped with the latest equipment in the field worth a total cost of USD 200,000. Dr. Nasr met several workers and was given a brief of the services they provided to landmine victims in the North West Coast.
 
The Minister stressed that President el-Sisi and the government was keen on demining the Coast and achieving sustainable development there. She explained that MOIC would be intensifying its efforts to accelerate support for demining the lands and rendering them suitable for establishing projects, which would, in turn, boost development and create job opportunities.
 
The Minister’s visit to Matrouh comes after her visit to Alamein and her inspection of the demining process. The Ministry helped in the process of purchasing 1170 machines worth USD 12 million, besides the allocation of USD 5.5 million in support of victims, adding up to USD 17.5, million representing the grant amount provided for the project. 95,000 feddans had been demined over the past few years and machinery worth USD 3.5 million was provided for use by the armed forces in the demining process, revealed the Minister. On the other hand, Dr. Nasr called on development partners to provide new funds for contributing to the demining of approximately 250,000 feddans. 
 
After that, the Minister handed over stock in 20 wells to landmine victims from 20 families. It is worth noting that the total cost of the well digging process was around USD 50,000. She also gave out 40 sewing machines to women worth EGP 120,000. A grant worth EGP 500,000 was announced by her as well for landmine victims, in addition to poultry breeding projects worth EGP 60,000 in favor of 40 households, besides the small agro industries center that contained a high quality olive oil production line worth USD 350,000. Finally, Dr. Nasr thanked all development partners for their support in the demining process in the North West Coast and for establishing projects that would help achieve sustainable development. 
 
Marsa Matrouh’s Governor, on the other hand, expressed his appreciation of the Minister’s visit and efforts, mentioning that the artificial limbs center inaugurated by her was one of the largest in Egypt and that it was equipped for manufacturing, maintenance and assembly of artificial limbs as well as for providing required equipment, such as wheelchairs for victims and the disabled across the governorate. Construction of the center which began a year and a half ago, was financed by the North Coast Demining and Development Executive Secretariat through a grant provided by the EU, which included training young cadres to work in the modernized center. 
 
The Governor explained that the Minister’s visit reflected the political leadership’s interest in the development of Marsa Matrouh and their concern for citizens across the entire country. On the occasion, he sent out a message of gratitude to President el-Sisi and announced his support of all his steps towards the nation’s development and stability.
 
He mentioned that the Governorate was adopting all possible means which included ‘out of the box’ strategies to cope with technological, administrative and technical developments to realize optimum benefit out of Marsa Matrouh’s natural resources, especially for accelerating demining schemes in cooperation with MOIC and the Armed Forces Engineering Authority, which has led way to realizing unprecedented accomplishments in spite of the long decades that had passed since the planting of landmines.
 
On his part, the EU Delegation’s Charge d'Affaires stated that “Although Alamein battles had a decisive role in the path of WWII, nonetheless, to date, Egypt still suffers of explosive remnants in the area,” while noting that “Over the years, EU member states who took part in the battle in Egypt have helped in the demining process.” He added that the current program was the “EU’s first direct contribution to these efforts… to help improve the lives of the North West Coast residents.”
 
As for the UNDP Resident Representative, he stated that the UNDP was pleased to take part in the inauguration of the artificial limbs center in Marsa Matrouh “which provided landmine victims integrated services.”  He also commended MOIC’s pioneering role in collaboration with the EU, which opens up new horizons of development in the North West Coast and provides the residents with a better means of living, besides the rehabilitation and integration of landmine victims into society, which serves the achievement of sustainable development goals in Egypt.
 
The USAID Mission’s Director Mrs. Carlin explained that “USAID will continue to support the demining process in Egypt and to support landmine victims through launching campaigns addressed to children on the dangers of landmines.”
 
“ We hope that the North West Coast becomes a safe place to live in,” she added.

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