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Poverty in Egypt

Slums of Cairo
Slums of Cairo
Egypt is not trapped in poverty, according to the UNDP Egypt Human Development Report 2005. Rather, it is recognized as a middle-income country, although poverty is a serious, widespread problem. The World Bank calculates that about 40 percent of the population is poor. This represents 28 million people, of whom 2.6 million (3.8 percent of population) are categorized by the UNDP as ‘extremely poor’.

34 percent of Egyptians have less than one USD a day to spend, and 42.8 percent live on two USD a day or less.

Without the existing food subsidies, an additional 7 percent of the population would be poor, and among those, 4.3 percent of the population would become very poor. The majority of the poor live in households where the head of the family is illiterate or barely literate. In general, large rural households with young children (under five) and low education levels run the greatest risk of poverty.

The World Bank uses the category ‘extreme poverty’ for those unable to provide even for basic food, ‘absolute poverty’ for those spending less than needed to cover minimal food and non-food needs, and ‘near poverty’ for those spending barely enough to meet basic food demands and slightly more than essential non-food needs. The three categories together are defined as ‘all poor’.

Poverty in Egypt, Urban and rural areas 2000-2005
Poverty in Egypt, Urban and rural areas 2000-2005

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