Rise of Poverty and Food Insecurity in Egypt
Although the incidence of poverty is decreasing overall in Egypt, the number of poor people continues to increase as the population grows. Egypt has about 10.7 million poor people, and 70 per cent of them live in rural areas. Most of the country’s rural poor people live in the north, in Upper Egypt, where there are higher rates of illiteracy and infant mortality, poorer access to safe water and sanitation, and larger numbers of underweight children. Women in general and particularly the women who head 20 per cent of all households, are particularly disadvantaged. About 80 per cent of girls are taken out of school before the age of ten to do farm work.One of the greatest constraints hindering agricultural growth and self-sufficiency is availability of irrigated land in a country that receives hardly any rainfall. With almost 97 per cent of the population confined to the Nile Valley and Delta and their desert fringes, Egyptians have long been concerned with increasing cropped acreage and reclaiming land for agriculture. More details.