The Egyptian Food Bank is intensifying its efforts to supply food to around 1.5 million families, which could cost up to 150 million Egyptian pounds ($9.55 million), so as to protect them from going hungry amid the continued spread of the coronavirus pandemic, Reuters reported.
The Executive Director of the Egyptian Food Bank, Mohsen Sarhan, told the news site that the organisation “launched a campaign on 19 March to face the fallout from COVID-19. The target was reaching 500,000 families before Ramadan [the month of fasting], but we have now raised the target to 1.5 million families by the end of Ramadan.”
“Until Thursday, we delivered 600,000 boxes of food to 600,000 families. We still need 900,000 more boxes. We will work toward delivering them before the end of Ramadan through working beyond the capacity of our factory so as to reach our target, God willing.”
The Egyptian Food Bank was established in 2006 with the aim of eliminating hunger in Egypt. It owns a factory for packaging food and a farm that has around 1,300 heads of cattle.
Sarhan added that nearly 70 companies have supported the Egyptian Food Bank amid the spread of COVID-19, donating more than 50 million Egyptian pounds ($3.2 million), with donations expected to read 150 million Egyptian pounds ($9.55 million).
This Ramadan, it aims to provide iftar meals to three million people who are fasting, a 300 per cent increase from the number supported last Ramadan.
According to the most updated statistics available, the poverty rate in Egypt increased to 32.5 per cent in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, compared to 27.5 per cent in 2015.
According to Sarhan, COVID-19 has pushed around 5-6 million families into poverty, including five million who depended on irregular incomes and one million who had regular jobs but were laid off.