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Thursday, 3 January 2019

Poverty rate in rural Upper Egypt drops 10%

Poverty in rural Upper Egypt may have fallen sharply, a potential boon for supporters of the Sisi administration’s economic policies. The poverty rate in rural Upper Egypt could have fallen as much as 10 percentage points (or nearly 18%) to 47% in 2018 from 57% three years ago, according to an unnamed government source speaking with the domestic press about the preliminary results of a state-commissioned income and expenditure survey.

The story leaves plenty unclear, starting with the details of the reported study, the fact that the alleged results are preliminary. Heck, the report doesn’t even make clear whose definition of poverty the survey is using. But if rural poverty in Upper Egypt — long one of the most stubborn indicators of progress in the war on poverty — is declining, the story bears watching.

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