KOICA and Plan International hold The Humanitarian Partnership Program (HPP) closing ceremony

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), South Korea’s official development assistance agency, and Plan International Korea and Egypt offices with the cooperation of Reyada Community Development Association and the Ministry of Social Solidarity, held a closing ceremony for their Humanitarian Partnership Program (HPP).

This event was a major step towards all partners’ shared goal of empowering the resilient Syrian refugee and vulnerable Egyptian host communities’ youth, especially girls and young women, to reduce gender inequalities, gender-based violence, and negative coping mechanisms resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as economic empowerment activities.

KOICA’s Country Director, Jinyoung Kim attended the closing ceremony along with. Rozan Khalifa, Plan International Country Director, Ara An, Programme and grants Assistant Manager at the External relations department, and Mervat Sakr, Member of the CDA board of Director in the presence of the first undersecretary of the ministry of social solidarity on Sunday, 21 April 2024 at the Tolip hotel Alexandria.

The Humanitarian Partnership Program (HPP), implemented with the support of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from KOICA, successfully concluded after a duration of three years spanning from August 2021 to April 2024.

This comprehensive initiative aimed to empower Syrian refugees and host communities in the Alexandria region by providing direct and indirect livelihood support, including emergency cash assistance, vocational training, and entrepreneurship education.

Additionally, the project focused on promoting gender equality and children’s rights through education and advocacy, with the goal of preventing negative coping mechanisms such as domestic violence and early marriage, with a strong emphasis on strengthening community resilience.

With 2,400 direct beneficiaries from Syrian refugee and host community families within the target area of Alexandria and the North Coast. Moreover, the project had an indirect impact on approximately 12,800 individuals.
Notably, throughout its implementation, the project positively contributed to the economic empowerment of the beneficiaries by increasing household incomes through the establishment of start-ups.

It also played a role in reducing tensions and fostering cooperation within the communities. Furthermore, more than half of the families participating in the entrepreneurship support successfully utilized various business models, including utilizing social media, to expand their enterprises.

The event brought together a diverse group of stakeholders, including Plan Egypt Office, Plan Korea office, CDA, MOSS (Ministry of Social Solidarity), and beneficiaries.

The ceremony featured inspiring speeches, informative videos showcasing the project, an exhibition displaying products created by the beneficiaries, presentations highlighting their journey and the project’s impact, as well as a play addressing gender-based violence.

Rozan Khalifa, Country Director of the Plan International Egypt office, commenced the ceremony with a speech expressing her thanks and gratitude to all those in charge of the project and the hard-working beneficiaries, describing it as a journey full of success.

She said “Every effort and achievement attained is a sign of our firm commitment to fostering positive change and contributing to building a future that promotes gender equality”.

For her part, Mervit Sakar, Member of the CDA board of Directors, described the project, as a comprehensive project. It contributed to targeting more than one aspect, such as gender-based violence, gender equality, and addressing the challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jinyoung Kim, Country Director of KOICA Egypt office, stressed that a midst the tensions and disputes in the region, people like us along with like-minded partners should come together more cohesively to wade through these challenges towards mutual prosperity.

She added that she strongly believes in the power of partnership with civil society organizations for co-prosperity and truly appreciates the spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood among our generous Egyptian residents and neighbors in need.

Looking forward, the KOICA Egypt office is planning to extend its efforts to support the refugees and Egyptian residents in continuous cooperation with Plan International and UN Agencies.

*The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) is the Korean government agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dedicated to implementing grant aid programs. KOICA aims to combat poverty and support sustainable socio-economic growth in partner countries around the globe.

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