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Egypt: Poverty leads parents to kill their children

Graffiti work illustrating a woman living in poverty in Egypt [Samia elsaid/Twitter]
Street art illustrating a woman living in poverty in Egypt [Samia elsaid/Twitter]

An Egyptian father threw his two sons from a bridge over the River Nile last week because the economic crisis in the country meant he could no longer feed them, local media reported.

Eyewitnesses reported the incident to the police and the man was arrested. In his statement, the father said he suffered psychological problems due to his inability to feed his five and seven-year-old sons.

Just two days earlier, a female shop owner in one of the elite areas in Cairo was found hanging at the entrance of her shop.

Read: Balancing the poverty of the poor  in Egypt

Police investigations revealed that she killed herself because of the financial problems she was facing. Her relatives told police that she had complained about her inability to pay debts due to the economic stagnation in the country.

There has been a rise in the number of suicides and murders as a result of money troubles faced by Egyptians over the past three years, according to local media reports. These include a man who shot his three sons and tried to kill himself.

The UAE's Erem News reported that a father from Cairo killed his four-year-old daughter as a result of the increase in living costs and his inability to cover them.

Read: Egypt's foreign debts highest since revolution

"Fathers do not commit these unjustified crimes without being under a lot of pressure," Marwa Ali, a specialist in human development and psychological researcher, explained.

Since the military coup in July 2013, Egypt has been experiencing unprecedented economic crises that have forced price to rise by nearly 100 per cent in the light of collapse of the value of the Egyptian currency and the absence of government subsidies.

Official statistics showed that the inflation rate reached 30.2 per cent in February, the highest level reported since November 1986 when it was 30.6 per cent.

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