Since its first production 10 years ago, Methanex Egypt has been committed to making a difference to its neighboring communities in Damietta, through a focus on Social Investments in health, education, empowerment, and training. Over the years, Methanex has accelerated its social responsibility journey through strengthening its sustainability maturity and ensuring that positive impacts experienced by the community and local partners are enhanced and meaningful to their existence.
Supporting the Health and Education Sectors in Damietta
During its early years, Methanex made strong contributions to health and education in Damietta. The company supported the development of medical services and facilities within the surrounding communities in Damietta through providing a myriad of essential equipment to the governorate’s main three hospitals serving more than 1.5 million residents. In addition, Methanex conducted annual medical caravans offering needed medical services to nearby villages serving thousands of patients.
Realizing the importance of having accessible education for the advancement of the community, Methanex partnered up with Misr El Kheir Foundation to create its flagship scholarship program that supports 10 high-school graduates from Damietta every year with a fully-funded scholarship. So far, it has successfully assisted 52 students to continue their higher education over the past five years. Methanex has also invested to improve the infrastructure of Kindergartens (KG) around Damietta as well as design capacity-building programs and trainings to equip teachers with the necessary techniques and modern educational methods.
Adopting a More Sustainable Approach
In 2018, Methanex Egypt started shifting the focus of its CSR strategy to align with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through pilot testing the International Labor Organization’s Decent Jobs for Egypt’s Young People in Damietta, and going on to sign a partnership with the ILO in 2019 extending the full-scale of their successful project to Damietta through a $1,000,000 donation.
The project aims to create decent employment opportunities for youth in Damietta, through promoting entrepreneurship and facilitating job matching processes. It also aims to build capacities of local partners on the ground for improved services to support unemployed youth and job matching processes and should address key cross cutting themes including occupational safety and health (OSH), the inclusion of people with disabilities and gender mainstreaming to enable the creation of over 500 jobs in Damietta over the duration of the project.
In recognition of this work, Methanex Egypt received the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) Humane Entrepreneurship Award, presented at the UN HQ in New York, in recognition of the its contribution to the enrichment of micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) culture in Damietta.
COVID-19 Relief Efforts
While the company’s focus remains to be on more sustainable approaches, Methanex does not hesitate to stand by the community at times of need.
During the past year, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Methanex partnered with the Egyptian Food Bank to provide food boxes to more than 12,000 households in Damietta who have been significantly impacted by the pandemic. Methanex Egypt was also one of the first responders to support the medical sector in its battle against COVID-19 through One Hand initiative launched by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and Egypt Oil & Gas Corporate Social Responsibility subcommittee in partnership with Misr El-Kheir. The initiative donations were used to purchase much needed medical supplies and equipment such as medical gowns, goggles, surgical masks, and other needed medical supplies.
Methanex Egypt is committed to continue its efforts to support the community around its plant in Damietta through sustainable development interventions that empower young women and men and prepare them for a better future.