Egyptian Minister of Planning and Economic Development Hala Al-Saeed has said a study is underway to issue a Family Insurance Fund for Egyptian families using birth control, in cooperation with the Financial Regulatory Authority, as part of a national project of family development.
The goal of this project is to control population growth, as a way to improve the quality of life of Egyptians, the minister said, adding it would include the economic empowerment of women aged 18 to 45 by providing job opportunities and encouraging them to achieve financial independence
The minister said that criteria for benefiting from the insurance scheme will include periodic family examinations every six months and breast cancer tests, in addition to the obligation to wait a specified period between having children, and only having a certain number of children per family.
The first stage of the scheme will take place over a period of three years, she said.
During the first phase, 2 million women will be trained as part of the National Initiative for Women’s Empowerment. Smaller projects are also planned for about 1 million women.
Al-Saeed said there will be coordination with the Ministry of Higher Education to formulate programs for young people to raise awareness of family planning regulations. Television programs on the issue of family planning will be part of this plan to raise national awareness.
In addition, an online platform, the Egyptian Family System, will automate the services of the Family Insurance Fund with links to units of health and family development. The project will also include providing family planning methods free of charge to all, said the minister.
She indicated that the project also aims at raising the efficiency of Al-Takamol hospitals by creating family-planning units, providing vaccinations and primary care services.
Clinics to monitor women’s health, nurseries for the children of working women and provision of necessary care and support needed for Egyptian women will be part of this program, with 1,500 female doctors trained in family planning methods, in addition to increasing the participation of NGOs that provide family planning services.
Twelve million home visits, 30,000 seminars and 500 activities targeting 6 million women will also form part of the program.
Legislative intervention is being planned to develop a regulatory framework governing the policies taken to control population growth. It includes the criminalization of child marriage, and expanding the scope of punishment to include children’s guardians. Child labor and the failure to register births will also be tackled with punitive measures.