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Successive governments fail to implement social, economic justice: Egypt NGOs

57 NGOs send report to UN claiming Egypt’s successive governments failed to implement 25 January demands

Wednesday 9 Oct 2013
social justices
File photo: A protester holds up his palm during a protest for labour rights on Labour Day or May Day, in Cairo in this May 1, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)
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In a joint report, 57 Egyptian NGOs said successive governments have failed to implement the demands of the people regarding human dignity, social marginalisation and justice.

The report was sent to the United Nations' committee on economic, social and cultural rights, ahead of Egypt’s annual presentation, which will take place in November.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights were among the NGOs to draft the report.

The report said authorities have not seized the opportunity to undertake important and necessary structural economic reforms amid political change. It also accused successive governments of ignoring “citizens' legitimate demands,” and criticised the lack of transparency regarding the state’s economic policies.

Egypt’s economy has been suffering since the 25 January 2011 revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Hosny Mubarak. Tourism, a vital sector that accounts for 11% of the country’s GDP, has been hard-hit by successive waves of unrest. Foreign investments have also witnessed a sharp decline.

The report also said the suppression of state subsidies would have a negative impact on the country's poverty rate, especially in the absence of efficient social solidarity networks.

There have been repeated calls for Egypt to cut its subsidies, which the poor rely on for basic necessities. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, Egypt’s subsidy bill reached nearly a third of its total budget expenditure.

The 2011 popular uprising was fueled by widespread discontent over worsening economic and social conditions. According to official statistics published in 2012, Egypt's poverty rate reached an average of 25.5 per cent for the year 2010/2011, compared to 21.6 per cent in 2008/2009. 

A joint policy note, published in May 2013 by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the World Food Program, said a removal of food subsidies could further increase national poverty estimates to 34%. 

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