Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Sawiris Foundation, UNHCR organize Discussion Panel at GFF

Sun 25 Oct 2020 | 09:30 PM
Rana Atef

On the sidelines of the El Gouna Film Festival 4th edition, Sawiris Foundation and the UN Refugee Agency in Egypt (UNHCR) organized on Sunday a panel discussion and a high-level networking event to celebrate their 2020 collaboration and confirm their 2021-2022 commitment to support marginalized refugee children in Egypt.

Under the slogan of "Cinema for Humanity," Mrs. Yousriya Loza – Sawiris, Founder, and Chairwoman of the Board of Sawiris Foundation, Eng. Naguib Sawiris, Founder and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Sawiris Foundation, Chairman of Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding, and Eng. Samih Sawiris, Founder and Board Member of the Sawiris Foundation and Chairman of Orascom Development Holding, in addition to celebrities and industry professionals attended the session.


Mr. Karim Atassi, UNHCR Representative to Egypt, and to the League of the Arab States and Eng. Samih Sawiris, representing Sawiris Foundation for Social Development signed a partnership agreement to support refugee children for the next two years.

“Being aware of the humanitarian crisis that touches tens of thousands of families in the region, it is our duty to support the refugee and marginalized children in Egypt. They all deserve safety, proper health care, and education, as basic needs that would help them have a better tomorrow. It is together with the UNHCR and its vast network that we can positively impact the lives of refugee children, creating hope, providing opportunities, and improving prospects for their futures,” commented Eng. Samih Sawiris.

This was the second agreement signed this year between UNHCR and SFSD, solidifying, and furthering the commitment to supporting vulnerable refugees in Egypt.


Earlier in 2020, SFSD made a generous contribution of EGP 15 million that supported more than 2,800 refugee households in Egypt, identified by UNHCR as highly vulnerable in the face of COVID-19.

“UNHCR is grateful to the support the Sawiris Foundation provided at a critical time this year to support thousands of refugee families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. This is the beginning of a long-term partnership between UNHCR and the Sawiris Foundation and both of us are committed to continuing to provide crucial assistance to the most vulnerable refugees in Egypt, especially to refugee children in 2021 and 2022,” said Mr. Atassi.

The event was preceded by a panel discussion titled “Children Matter: A Better Today for a Brighter Tomorrow” at the TUB Campus El Gouna. Moderated by the famous TV presenter Raya Abirached, the panel features a virtual talk with acclaimed film director Nadine Labaki and brings together Mr. Atassi, Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Assistant Secretary-General, and Head of Social Affairs Sector of the League of Arab States, Eng. Noura Selim, Executive Director of SFSD and Syrian actress and UNHCR High Profile Supporter Kinda Alloush.

The panelists will focus on the role of humanitarian organizations, policymakers, cultural elites, and the film industry in raising awareness and helping to ensure that plights of refugee children are well addressed.


Egypt is home to approximately 260,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers representing 57 nationalities; 40 percent of them are children aged under 18.

The majority of them live in urban areas alongside host communities, where UNHCR works with government authorities, local and international NGOs, and foundations to provide and enhance access to protection services, health care, and education.