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Port Said: our approach to local development in Egypt

To improve access to healthcare and education in the area, we have launched a number of initiatives aimed at the population.

Laying the foundations for an integrated sustainable model

In the town overlooking the Mediterranean, where the Zohr, El Gamil and UGDC onshore plants are located, we have set up a business model strongly focused on long-term value creation. In January 2020, for example, we opened:

  • a primary healthcare centre providing access to first aid, dentistry, paediatrics, vaccinations and pharmacy services for 20,000 people
  • a youth centre to provide training and recreational opportunities in the Emirates district and neighbouring communities.

Both projects are part of the sustainability and health initiatives envisaged by the Zohr Social and Health Initiatives Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). In October 2021, we also opened the Zohr Applied Technology School, a tech-focussed school with the aim of improving the scientific skills of both male and female students.

Emirates and Al Garabaa healthcare centres

The construction of the buildings is part of a larger Community Health Project aimed at supporting primary and emergency healthcare services in Port Said Governorate. The programme includes infrastructure works, training courses in Egypt and abroad for healthcare staff and awareness-raising activities in the local community on the issue of health. The Emirates centre, built in line with architectural accessibility criteria, houses 15 clinics and 2 analysis labs, administrative offices, a warehouse and living quarters for healthcare staff. In 2018, as part of the same programme, a healthcare centre was also built in al-Garabaa. Thanks to the start-up of both facilities, 800,000 people are now able to access healthcare services. In 2020, there were almost 30,000 appointments registered at the Emirates healthcare centre and 9,000 at the al-Garabaa healthcare centre.

Also in the area of access to healthcare, we have launched an initiative for the Burns Unit at the As-Salam Hospital in Porto Said to improve the skills of hospital personnel, strengthen triage services and promote public awareness of the risks of burns. Between 2020 and 2021, we also provided personal protective equipment, sanitiser and 34 ventilators during the Covid-19 pandemic. For over 20 years, we have also supported the city's Italian hospital with the donation of haemodialysis machines and a pulmonary ventilation system.

A youth centre to foster participation in community life

The facility, which opened in January 2020, is part of the Community Program and is expected to employ 2,700 people by the end of 2021. The centre aims to meet the needs of boys and girls living in the area, promoting their active participation in social and economic life. Thanks to enabling technology, the centre is able to promote women's inclusion and empowerment. The facility is fully equipped to offer quality services with:

  • a library
  • a gym
  • reading rooms
  • classrooms for training courses
  • a sewing workshop and computer room
  • a children's playground
  • a football pitch
  • a multi-purpose sports field
  • an athletics track and a recreational area.

Training activities are carried out in collaboration with recognised bodies that are tasked with supporting the Egyptian authorities in managing the centre and in organising activities. The objectives we set ourselves through the opening of the centre are:

  • to provide training services to at least 500 boys and girls per year, with an indirect impact on the entire community of the Emirates district
  • to promote the economic inclusion of young people and women in Port Said
  • to increase their participation in community life
  • to improve participants' technical and professional skills

A school of Applied Technology to improve the technical skills of young people

In October 2021, we also opened the Zohr Applied Technology School, considered a flagship of technical education in the country, launched to significantly increase the number of young people and adults with appropriate technical and vocational skills. The school accommodates 264 male and female students aged 15 to 18, with a target of 792 young people by the end of the academic cycle. It currently offers five specialisation fields in energy and technology, including Energy, Electricity, Information Technology, Mechanical Maintenance and HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning). The institute, which employs 38 teaching and non-teaching staff, provides specialised vocational education and training meeting the highest international standards to improve labour market opportunities for enrolled students. More than 20 companies are involved in the project, actively contributing to the development of study and apprenticeship programmes for students. The Don Bosco Institute in Cairo provided training for staff.

In addition, with a view to contributing to education access in Port Said, we are starting upgrading work at the industrial mechanics high school to renovate the existing building. The project includes the provision of state-of-the-art equipment and teacher training.

Access to renewable energy for the Monastery of Saint Anthony

In 2018, we contributed to the installation of a photovoltaic system for solar energy production in the Coptic Monastery of Saint Anthony, which benefits the 150 resident monks and novices, 400 employees and 2,000 daily visitors.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an action programme signed in September 2015 by 193 UN member states, which includes 17 goals aimed at the socio-economic development of communities and countries. Through our initiatives in Port Said, we are contributing to providing inclusive and equitable quality education and learning opportunities for all (Sdg 4), promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all (Sdg 8), reducing inequality within and among countries (Sdg 10) and strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development (Sdg 17). In addition, with the opening of the medical centres and the provision of medical supplies, we are also helping to achieve the following goals: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages (Sdg 3), ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (Sdg 6).

Safety first

We consider safety at work to be an essential value that we share with employees, contractors and local communities. This is why we have put in place all necessary actions to avoid accidents, including organisational models for risk assessment and management, training plans, skills development and promotion of a safety culture.

Impact on the environment and communities

Thanks to the opening of the youth centre and the school of applied technology, the number of young people in Port Said with relevant technical and soft skills that can be used professionally has increased significantly. With the launch of the Al Garabaa and Emirates healthcare centres , we have also contributed to the improvement of primary healthcare and emergency services in the cities and boosted the local response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Partnerships

To launch the project, we worked with the UN Global Compact, IPIECA, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, EITI and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.