Thursday, August 1, 2019

Official Numbers : 32.5% of the Egyptians are under the Egyptian poverty line

On Monday, Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics “CAPMAS” announced that 32.5% of Egyptians are living under the Egyptian poverty line currently according to the results of its 2017/2018 income survey.
Yes, you read it right 1/3 of the Egyptian population are currently living under the Egyptian poverty line.

We are currently 101,333,931 people according to the latest numbers of the UN, one-third of them are living under poverty officially.
According to CAPMAS, the Egyptian poverty line is estimated to be LE 735.7 a month (USD 44.47)
There is a 4.7% increase in the number of Egyptians living in poverty line in 2017/18 comparing to 27.8% in 2015.
In its 69-pages-survey, CAPMAS stated the extreme poverty line is estimated to be LE 490 a month in Egypt in 2017/18 and that are 6.2 million Egyptians living beneath that line.

In case you do not know, the extreme poverty line means people with no access to basic human needs like sanitation, proper housing and health service or like our media says in Egypt “ They sleep with no supper”.

Amazingly it declined from 2009 to 2013 including the 2012/2013 with all the political ups and downs then it picked up again.

Now if you are going to apply the Global poverty line determined by the World Bank which is estimated at ( USD $1.90 a day) that is (USD 57 a month x LE 16.5) then we are speaking about LE 940.5.
This means the number of Egyptians living under the global poverty line is more than the local poverty line and the extreme poverty according to numbers.

It is scary. It is worrying.
It is worth to mention that in September 2018, the WB said the global poverty line dropped worldwide by 10% except in the Middle East and Africa.
We know that first hand as a Middle East North African Nation.

Egypt’s government is not alarmed at all about the increase in Egyptians living under the poverty line as the ministers like Planning Minister Hala El-Saeed believes that 4.7% is a small percentage in times of huge economic reforms Egypt is currently adopting.

The officials say that it could be worse and it is expected as it happened in other countries that adopted IMF-imposed economic reforms programs like in Argentina.

The latest part of those economic reforms was in early July when the government lifted the fuel subsidies in its latest round of subsidy cuts per the agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
In late July, the IMF approved the final trench of its loan to Egypt after its final review
The results of the 2017/2018 income survey should have been announced in February but there was a delay in its release several times.

According to officials, the delays were caused for organizational reasons and not for political reasons as claimed in the media earlier.
CAPMAS released the poverty line and the extreme poverty line’s monthly expenditure per geographical location in Egypt.

It seems to me that the Urban Nile Delta governorates got the lowest monthly expenditure for both the poverty line and the extreme poverty line.

The poorest 1000 villages in the country per governorate

Aside from the shocking Egyptians living under the poverty line, CAPMAS presented other important numbers about poverty.

I am quite amazed to see Giza and Alexandria, one of the most urbanized governorates making it to the list.
Giza got 26 villages officially considered among the poorest villages in the country.
Alexandria got 4 villages.
It is not surprising that the poorest villages in Egypt are still located in Upper Egypt despite the south holds Egypt a lot of wealth starting with the solar energy and tourist attractions.

Here is the poverty rate per governorates and all Upper Egypt’s governorates except Fayoum got a rate higher than the average poverty of Egypt which is “32.5%”.

66% of the population in Assuit is considered poor accordingly followed by Luxor and New valley governorates.

Since I was little I have been reading those couple of words in the newspapers “The national project for Upper Egypt’s developments” and how it focused on its most needed villages yet here we are in 2019 and we are still reading those words in the papers.

We also read about how Egypt has got another USD 500 million loans from the World Bank to develop Upper Egypt, specifically in Qana and Suhag governorates.
The loan is directed to infrastructure projects, industrial zones projects and technological hubs projects. Those projects are supposed to provide not less than 70,000 job opportunities.

It is worth to mention that those Upper Egyptian governorates like Suhag and Assuit are one of the migrant sources from Egypt including those who decide to search for job opportunities in war-torn countries like Libya. 

CAPMAS released also a comparison for the year 2015 vs 2017 the relation between the level of education and poverty.

It does not need a genius to guess Egypt’s illiterates are the poorest in the country “39.2% in 2017” but it is a bit alarming that 5.5% of those who got a degree higher than bachelor degree are now poor in 2017 comparing to 2.9% in 2015

What do Egyptians spend their money?

In CAPMAS’s survey about income, expenditure and consumption, we know how much the Egyptian family spends on what in 2017/2018 and it is all about food.

According to official CAPMAS, the average Egyptian family spends 36.23% of its income on food and drink then 18.16% on the residence and 9.67% on medical services.
We are speaking about 64.36% of the average income spent on basic human needs “Food+Shelter+Health”
In some irony, we find the Egyptian average family spends 0.2% more of its income on smoking “4.7%” than on education “4.5%”.
Culture and leisure come in the last stage “2.1%” of the income.

There is also a very interesting comparison CAMPAS released; the expenditures of the highest segment of the society vs the lowest segment of the society aka the richest and the poorest in Egypt in 2017/18.

Two things stand out for me.
The poorest segment spends 49.8% aka 50% of its income annually on basic food and drinks compared to 25.9% for the richest segment.
The richest segment spends 8.5% of its income annually on transportation compared to 4.4% for the poorest segments.
There are lots of things that can be said about this survey.
It is alarming, this is the least thing that can be said.

1 comment:

  1. Egypt spend so much on weapons and military equipment instead of spending it on the most volnurable of people.


Thank You for your comment
Please keep it civilized here, racist and hateful comments are not accepted
The Comments in this blog with exclusion of the blog's owner does not represent the views of the blog's owner.