Last Update 22:52
Thursday, 22 October 2020

Egypt launching new family planning initiative to curb population surge

The move by comes after Egypt's population officially hit the 100 million mark earlier this month in a surge that officials have described as 'catastrophic'

Menna Alaa El-Din , Monday 24 Feb 2020
Family planning in Egypt
File Photo: Egyptian mothers wait outside a new clinic in the province of Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, Egypt February 19, 2019 (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt has said that it is launching a family planning initiative nationwide starting May, a statement by the health ministry said.

The statement comes weeks after the government said it is prioritising combating population growth after the country's population hit 100 million at home.

Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said the programme comes under efforts to limit population growth and to continue family planning services already available in the country.

The programme will be implemented in three phases across the country, with the first phase including Cairo, Giza, Qalyoubia, Assiut, Sohag, Sharqiya, Port Said and Alexandria.

The second phase will include the governorates of Fayoum, Beni Suef, Minya, Qena, Aswan, Daqahliya, Damietta, Gharbiya and Ismailia.

The governorates of Menoufiya, Kafr El-Sheikh, Beheira, Suez, Luxor, New Valley, the Red Sea, North Sinai and South Sinai will be included in the third phase.

The head of the Ministry of Health and Population’s Family Planning Department Sahar El-Sonbaty said the programme aims to increase the use of modern contraceptives from 58.5 percent in 2014 to 71.6 percent by 2030.

The move by the health ministry comes after Egypt's population officially hit the 100 million mark earlier this month, with the government on high alert to combat population growth.

The 100 million figure does not include Egyptians living abroad, who are estimated at over 13 million.

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 ministry is providing EGP 75 million in funding and the UN EGP 10 million.

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