Egypt is an African country known for its rich culture, extensive history and seemingly otherworldly monuments. However, not many people are familiar with the living conditions in this country. For example, over a quarter of the population in Egypt is below the poverty line. To elaborate on the specifics of the living conditions, 10 facts about life in Egypt are presented in the text below.
10 Facts About Living Conditions in Egypt
- Ten million children in the country are considered multi-dimensionally poor, meaning they are deprived of daily necessities such as clean water, access to proper health care and education. These children lack some or all of mentioned necessities. What makes the situation even worse is that over 50 percent of the Egyptian population is under the age of 20.
- Starting in 2014, the Egypt government began to concentrate on enforcing a reforms program for the country’s economy. The program has yielded gradual improvements and should continue to persevere. As an example, in the fiscal year 2018, GDP grew at a 5.3 percent rate, compared to 4.2 percent in 2017.
- In Egypt’s capital, Cairo, roughly 11 million out of the total of 17 million inhabitants live in extra-legally formed housing, otherwise known as the slums. The slums are very underdeveloped forms of shelter for those that cannot afford proper housing and amenities. Fortunately, nongovernmental organization Habitat for Humanity has helped build and renovate roughly 33,000 homes in 33 different communities since 2017.
- Inhabitants of the slums don’t have access to basic needs and services such as electricity, water pipes and sewage system. These people, in general, suffer more from asthma, allergies and renal failure because they live in such unsanitary conditions and don’t have as easy access to proper drinking water. The homes that Habitat for Humanity help construct are built with proper, durable materials and employ safe sanitary systems.
- The political unrest mixed with the fear that security at ancient sites is not guaranteed has resulted in an increase in unemployment, a devastation in the tourism industry and consequential damage to the country’s economy.
- The education system is similar to that of the U.S. in the sense that there are 12 official years and education in municipal school is free. However, the schools, especially those of higher education, are heavily underfunded and a lot of people cannot afford to send their children to higher quality confidential schooling. With the help of CARE, an organization combatting poverty around the globe, education is becoming more available. CARE serves to promote and support education to those who aren’t able to afford it.
- Egypt is very rich in its own culture but the country is also influenced by the surrounding countries. This fact has resulted in a very diverse culture as well as the population. The main influences in the country are those from France, other African countries and Mediterranean countries.
- Egypt’s total population exceeds 90 million making it the most populated country in the Middle East. The population is diversified and, along with the rich history, this makes the country a real hub for culture.
- Egypt’s Minister of Education, Tarek Shawky, has come to the decision to implement teaching English in schools, starting from the kindergarten. This way, children will be given an opportunity to learn English at an early age and to become competitive at the global market.
- The country has been in a state of political unrest and turmoil with the price of basic goods and necessities rising obscenely and placing too many people below the poverty line. The streets of Egypt were a site of unrest in which political activists, protesters and journalists were thrown in jail is not so distant history. However, Egypt’s economy and the country as a whole, for the first time in a while, is in with the hopes of bringing this turmoil to peace. A bright moment for the country was participation in the World Soccer Cup held in Russia.
Through the U.S. education system, kids growing up learning about ancient Egypt and ancient Egyptian lifestyles but they never really learn about what life is like in modern day Egypt.
These 10 facts about life in Egypt provide a little bit of insight on the culture and day-to-day life of Egypt’s people in today’s world for the people that do not know what the current situation is. They also give an insight into the country’s potential of the recovery after rough years mixed with war and fear.
– Samantha Harward