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Monday, 3 October 2016

Most cannot begin to fathom depth of poverty in Egypt -Mohamed Aboul Gheit

Most people cannot fathom how big Egypt is and the magnitude of poverty here, Mohamed Aboul Gheit argues in Al Masry Al Youm urging people to avoid false generalisations such as Egyptians are (secretly) wealthy / lazy / don’t want to work and the like. Aboul Gheit cities CAPMAS’ income and expenditure survey and its annual statistical bulletin to give readers the raw facts. If you live in a household that can afford to spend EGP 4,160 a month, congratulations, you’re amongst the richest 15% in the Egypt — the poorest 10% of households cannot afford to spend more than EGP 277 per head each month. 21% of kids under the age of five suffer from dwarfism due to malnutrition, 42.2% of households don’t have access to sewage networks, and 23.7% of adults are illiterate. Egyptians also work long hours, up to 50 a week, as most have to switch between more than one job a day. Bad traffic makes you think everyone owns a car in Egypt? Think again; there are just 4.1 mn private cars nationwide, belonging to just 7.9% of the country’s households. Put it all in context, Aboul Gheit urges, there are over 90 mn people living in Egypt and most of them are struggling in these challenging times.

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