A community kitchen for refugees and host community women
The project in brief
Refugees and Combating Human Trafficking Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt
Arab Republic of Egypt
December 2018 - Ongoing
A community kitchen located within the premises of the National Council for Women (NCW) was renovated and equipped to host refugee and Egyptian women.
1) To develop a safe, liable and sustainable income for a group of refugee and Egyptian vulnerable women.
2) To specifically have a holistic approach through facilitating access to day-care and a supporting work environment.
3) To engage with public sector and private sector entities in addressing refugees’ livelihood needs and build up a sustainable model.
- The significant support and cooperation of the National Council for Women to realize this project, combined with flexibility of the engaged actors (NCW, UNHCR, Mumm and UN Women);
- The great cooperation of UN Women in support of refugee and asylum-seeker women.
- National Council for Women (NCW)
- Mumm - Private sector social enterprise
- UN Women
Challenges and how they were overcome
The governance model and the legal reference for a public-private partnership was not clear and the NCW (as a change agent) has played a pivotal role in the successful operationalization of the kitchen.
Challenges were overcome through a cooperative approach among partners and as a result of the strong commitment and political will of the NCW.
How the project meets the GCR Objectives
Objective 1: Ease the pressures on host countries
Objective 2: Enhance refugee self-reliance
In Egypt, the food sector, especially home-based services, is one of the sectors that is safe, viable and accommodative to many refugee and asylum-seeker women to work in. Egypt’s National Council of Women (NCW), UNHCR and UN Women have worked together to set-up a partnership between private and public sector actors to establish a kitchen in one of the refugee-hosting areas in Cairo at the benefit of both, refugee and Egyptian women. To this end, a kitchen was renovated and equipped in the premises of the NCW. A private sector social enterprise (Mumm), that is specialized in high-quality home-based food, was contracted to develop a business model and to set up a management structure through which the kitchen can operate as a production and training facility. Moreover, a project’s committee including all partners (NCW, UNHCR, UN Women, Mumm as well as some refugee-based community associations) was established for the management of the project. The committee worked collectively on the project’s governance model and requirements to have the kitchen operational. Currently, 12-16 refugee and Egyptian female cooks are developing menus for the official opening of the kitchen in January 2020.
The project will be managed by Mumm for the coming 5 years and will be regularly monitored by UNHCR and UN Women. UNHCR, UN WOMEN and Mumm are working on outreach, recruitment and liabilities for the Egyptian, refugee and asylum-seeker cooks’ work conditions. The place is to be operating under the good will of this good-will partnership and under the support of the government of Egypt.
Neveen El Husseiny, Minister Plenipotentiary, Head of Migration, Refugees and Combating Human Trafficking Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt