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FGM - Free Village Model Project

On behalf of the Honorable Susan Whelan, Minister of International Cooperation, the Canadian Embassy and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in Cairo are pleased to announce the signing of a new Canadian Grant Agreement with the UNDP to support the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) in the joint fund already supported by several international partners. In announcing the grant, Minister Whelan said: "I am delighted to partner with NCCM in their initiative addressing harmful practices such as Female Genital Mutilation (FGM-female circumcision)".

"CIDA has been collaborating with its Egyptian partners since 1976 and has supported over 500 initiatives toward development in Egypt" said Mr. Michel de Salaberry, the Canadian Ambassador to Egypt. He added: "Canada's participation in this multi-donor initiative with Egyptian leadership reinforces the position Canada has adopted of the importance of African development as demonstrated by our commitment to support African leadership in the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) through the G8 Africa Action Plan".

The project has started in January 2003 and will extend for three years at a total project cost of US$2,674,228. CIDA's contribution will be CAN $500,000 over the duration of the project.

The project led by the NCCM will seek to support advocacy and address the sociocultural roots of FGM through a series of interventions including building awareness of the rights of girls to participate in decisions affecting their lives; training local NGOs to conduct advocacy work; and developing an anti FGM tool kit.

The project will be implemented in 6 Governates of Upper Egypt: Minya, Sohag, Qena, Beni Suef, Aswan and Assuit. The initiative is expected to reduce the practice of FGM by 40-60% in the target villages as a step towards eventually achieving 100% eradication of this harmful practice.

Mr. Rick McTaggart, the Country Program Director and Counsellor (Development) at the Canadian Embassy said: "This project is in line with the principles outlined in CIDA's action plan on child protection as a key part of our commitment to social development and gender equality. It supports several development themes including child protection, reproductive health, and basic human rights".

Canada strongly welcomes the opportunity to contribute, along with other international partners, to FGM-Free Village Model project initiative by the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and playing a role in eradicating this harmful practice.

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