Egypt’s poverty rate dropped to 29.7% in 2019/20: CAPMAS

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Oct 2022

The poverty rate in Egypt dropped to 29.7 percent in 2019/20, compared to 32.5 percent in 2018/17, the Central Agency for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) announced on Monday.



On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, CAPMAS issued a statement about poverty rates in Egypt as well as in Africa and the Arab world.

According to CAPMAS, this is the lowest rate in Egypt in 20 years.

“The drop in the poverty rate reflects the success of the state’s effort to achieve social justice in parallel with economic reforms,” CAPMAS said in its statement, adding that the state is “cultivating the fruits” of the economic reforms from national projects like Takaful and Karama as well as the Decent Life initiative.

CAPMAS stated that overpopulation is the main cause of poverty, adding that poverty correlates to family size.

“The increase in family size is the reason and the result of the poverty at the same time,” it said.

Poor families often have more children because because of a lack of social protection, with parents betting that their children’s income can support them as they age or get sick, CAPMAS elaborated.

According to CAPMAS, 80.6 percent of people living in families of 10 people or more suffer from poverty.

Nearly half of people living in families of six to seven are poor, while only 7.5 percent of families of less than four are poor.

Education is another reliable indicator of poverty, with higher education levels corresponding to lower levels of poverty, according to CAPMAS.

The agency stated that in 2019/2020, 35.6 percent of the illiterate are poor, compared to 9.4 percent of university graduates.

In December 1992, the United Nations General Assembly declared 17 October as The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty and invited all states to devote the day to promoting the eradication of poverty.

CAPMAS stated that more than 736 million people globally lived below the international poverty line in 2015, or about 10 percent of the world's population, and struggled to meet basic needs such as health, education, access to clean water and sanitation.

The statement pointed out that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed between 143 and 163 million additional people into poverty.

South Asia and Africa are expected to see the largest increases in extreme poverty rates due to the pandemic, with an additional 32 million and 26 million people respectively living below the international poverty line, it added in its statement.

In Africa, Nigeria has the largest number of people living below the poverty line (70 million), followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (67 million), Madagascar (21 million), and Angola (18 million).

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