Egypt’s rich history and fantastic architecture, such as the Pyramids of Giza and other attractions, often convince travelers across the globe to visit. However, the recent COVID-19 pandemic has caused tourism, a beneficial economic endeavor in Egypt, to reduce. Those in government positions are working quickly to try and appease the challenges that COVID-19 has caused in Egypt. Here is some information regarding the economic impact of COVID-19 in Egypt and possible solutions to ease the hardships that the population is facing daily.
The Egyptian economy heavily relies on tourists between January and March before the summer. The climate temperatures during those months favor travelers who do not wish to encounter the intense heat while exploring the area. This industry makes up 12% of Egypt’s workforce. COVID-19 in Egypt is complicating revenue that tourism generates for Egypt’s economy because of the travel restrictions it caused. In fact, projections have determined that Egypt’s GDP could reduce between 0.7% and 0.8% due to COVID-19 measures such as travel restrictions. The loss of visiting tourists could make up two-thirds of this GDP reduction.
Egypt lies within the North African region’s borders. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says the area contains nearly 25 million children in need, including refugees and internally displaced children. Estimates claim that this area could lose 1.7 million jobs in 2020 because of the virus in the region. Increases in poverty may occur with an additional 8 million, about half being children.
UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa asked governmental and nongovernmental partners for $93 million in support to help children in the region. Additionally, UNICEF has included Egypt on the list of countries with potentially vulnerable populations due to limited access to nutritional food because of COVID-19. UNICEF’s Regional Nutrition Team will send follow up calls to Egypt to aid those with limited access to food.
As of May 21, 2020, the worldwide cases of COVID-19 reached around 5 million. In Egypt, there are 14,229 COVID-19 cases and there have been 680 deaths. The nation implemented several restrictions to help curb the spread of the virus. For example, the Egyptian government has only allowed essential businesses to remain open following strict guidelines.
On March 25, 2020, one of the government’s most restrictive orders included implementing a curfew to combat the virus spread. Enforcement of the curfew remains effective from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Shops that the government has allowed to stay open can operate until 5:00 p.m. During these hours, all forms of transportation are not available to provide service. Violators of the order could receive fines or possible imprisonment. Additionally, the Government of Egypt extended the suspension of incoming commercial passenger flights into Egypt for two weeks beyond March 31, 2020.
One Step at a Time
Egypt is continuing to try to flatten the curve of COVID-19 through the implementation of strict guidelines. Moreover, UNICEF is providing aid to Egypt’s vulnerable people. The nation is diligently working to combat the virus with hopes of having people visit again and see what Egypt’s culture has to offer to the world.
– Donovan Baxter