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UNICEF: 30% poverty rate in Egypt

Image of the cramped and poor living conditions residents face in Luxor,, Egypt [Richard Messenger/Flickr]
Poor living conditions can be seen in Luxor, Egypt [Richard Messenger/Flickr]

Poverty rates in Egypt have increased over the past 15 years to reach 27.8 per cent in 2015, a report published by UNICEF last month has shown.

As a result, ten million children have been declared “multidimensionally poor” leaving them deprived “in key wellbeing dimensions which have a direct impact on their ability to survive and develop”. These wellbeing dimensions include “being stunted, dropping out from school, not having clean drinking water, lacking access to health care, and/or suffering severe corporal violence.”

It is estimated that 52 per cent of Egypt’s population is under the age of 20.

Poverty rates are expected to have increased since 2015, the dates on which the UNICEF report was based, as a result of the economic difficulties Egypt has faced since President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi took office in a military coup in 2013.

Political upheaval, air crashes and fears over security at ancient sites have devastated the country’s vital tourism industry, increasing unemployment and damaging the economy. This was exacerbated by the flotation of the Egyptian pound in an effort to meet the requirements of the International Monetary Fund in order to secure a $12 billion loan, as well as rising inflation and the reduction or removal of subsidies which many rely upon for their survival.

Egypt: Poverty leads parents to kill their children

Additionally, the NGO law passed last summer left charities struggling to attract the funding they need. “The law strictly controls NGOs, including those in the realm of social and development work, and makes it difficult for charities to deliver services. It bans domestic and foreign groups from engaging in rights work or anything that can be said to harm national security, public order, public morals or public health,” Al Jazeera explains.

A report published in Al-Monitor yesterday revealed that 60 per cent of children in the neighbourhood of Manshiyat Nasr in Eastern Cairo remain outside the formal education system. As a result they are unable to access government allowances which are contingent on children attending school.

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