Egypt spends over EGP 100 mln annually on free family planning methods

Ahram Online , Saturday 3 Sep 2022

Egypt annually spends over EGP 100 million (approximately $5.2 million) to offer family planning methods for free or at lowered prices, an official said on Saturday, as the country seeks to lower its population growth.

Serious measures are needed to tackle population increase


The figure does not include awareness raising campaigns, Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, a spokesman for the country's Ministry of Health and Population, said in a TV interview with CBC channel.

The country has established 5,043 medical units to provide reproductive health services nationwide, the spokesperson pointed out.

Egyptian officials have repeatedly underlined the negative impacts of overpopulation on development efforts.

The country's 103-million-plus population is estimated to grow to 153.7 million by 2050, which would require the state to double its infrastructure projects and development spending over the coming 30 years.

The population has increased by 14 million in just the past seven years.

In recent years, several steps have been taken to tackle the consequences of overpopulation.

In 2020, Egypt launched a two-year initiative called "Two Is Enough" to encourage families to have fewer children.

Last year, the health ministry began providing all forms of contraception to women free of charge.

In late February, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi launched the National Project for Developing the Egyptian Family, which tackles the health, social, family and economic dimensions of the crisis.

The Egyptian president has repeatedly warned against the negative impacts of overpopulation, calling on the government to lower the growth rate in order to allow citizens to benefit from the fruits of development efforts.

On Tuesday, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) stated that the fertility rate per woman in Egypt declined in 2021 to 2.8, a 20 percent drop from the 3.5 births per woman in 2014.

The new figures are based on the most recent study that was conducted by the Health of the Egyptian Family (HEF) survey, which also released new figures on C-sections operations, female genital mutilation (FGM), and child mortality.

According to the HEF survey, the fall in the fertility rate in Egypt was due to an increase in the use of birth control.

Egypt aims to reduce the fertility rate to 1.6 births per woman, according to adviser to the chairman of CAPMAS Hussein Abdel-Aziz.

The United Nations Population Division defines any rate below 2.1 births per woman as below replacement level.

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