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UNIDO contributes to the mobilization of the Dahshur World Heritage Site for Community Development

Along the United Nations efforts to support the Government of Egypt in preservation and sustainable development of the country’s historical assets and antiquities, five United Nations organizations including UNIDO have launched a joint programme in 2009. The programme aims at the preservation of the cultural heritage and natural resources of the Dahshur area and at promoting sustainable development in the surrounding community. 

The programme encapsulates an innovative approach to culture and development by engaging communities as beneficiaries and guardians of heritage. This will not only have unprecedented economic gains, but also the basis of human development for long-term sustainability of efforts to alleviate poverty.  This will be done through improving the livelihoods and working conditions of the local population through targeted employment-generation activities, with special focus given to women’s and youth employment, as well as the development of locally driven micro and small enterprises (MSMEs)

The programme also focuses on increasing institutional capacity to manage cultural heritage and natural resources by promoting cross-cultural understanding and awareness among local communities of their heritage which will instil a sense of empowerment and belonging instead of regarding heritage as a commodity for tourists with no cultural value or meaning.

UNIDO’s role is to promote creative entrepreneurship in the community, especially among youth and women, through    approaches, methodologies and tools geared to the development of small enterprises in traditional agro based products.

Dahshur is situated south of Saqqara on the Giza Plateau and comprises an integral section of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Memphis and Its Necropolis.  Specifically, the Dahshur component of Memphis and Its Necropolis comprises three individual pyramid structures: The Bent Pyramid, The Red Pyramid, both constructed by Snefru, and the Pyramid of Amenmhat III besides its including a seasonal lake, which is a unique natural asset.