House moves ahead with Family Planning Act
LEGISLATION WATCH- House is pushing ahead with Family Planning Act: The House Complaints and Proposals Committee has approved a draft bill that aims to curb population growth in Egypt by offering benefits and incentives to parents with no more than two children. The bill was introduced by Rep. Kamal Amer, according to Masrawy. Amer said that the 14-article act will use carrots instead of sticks for families with up to two children. These will include education and subsidy incentives, he said, without elaborating further. The bill first cropped up a year ago, though a similar act was also proposed a few months prior.
Egypt has one of the fastest-growing populations in the world, as we’ve previously noted. Although successful government family planning campaigns in the 1990s slowed the population growth rate from 3.5% in the 1970s to 1.7% in the mid-2000s, it was back to 2.11% in 2011 and still hovering around the 2% mark in 2016. Egypt’s population is seen exceeding 130 mn by 2030, posing a challenge to the state’s sustainable development goals, said Planning Minister Hala El Said in September. Last year, the government launched the five-year, USD 19 mn “Two is Enough” campaign to raise awareness of the economic costs of having more than two children. However, some argue that it fails to address the economic and cultural motivations in Egypt for having large families.