Egypt is on “high alert” to combat population growth, the cabinet has said, as the country looks like it will pass the 100 million
-population mark this week.
Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly held a meeting on Friday with a number of ministers to follow up with family planning efforts nationwide, describing overpopulation as the “biggest challenge” facing the state, according to a cabinet statement released on Friday.
Madbouly said the government will launch a new programme to control population growth and family planning, urging relevant ministers to prepare a comprehensive working paper on the issue.
He said the state is currently undertaking a number of related measures on subsidies, limiting them to two children per family for newborns, whether through subsidies or the Takaful and Karama cash transfer programmes.
The country's population reached approximately 99,945,000 at 10am on Saturday, according to official figures.
That number excludes Egyptians abroad, estimated at over 9 million people.
Since 2017, Egyptian officials have described the country's rapid population growth as a "catastrophe" that threatens national development plans and demands immediate attention, just like the country's war against terrorism.
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has repeatedly said that the current rate of population growth poses a threat to the nation and restricts Egypt's progress.
Last year, Egypt launched a two-year initiative called "Two Is Enough," to encourage people to have fewer children.
The social solidarity is providing EGP 75 million in funding and the UN EGP 10 million.