The paper investigated the problem of poverty in Egypt, as it is growing in a dramatically rates, till it became one of the main reasons behind 25th of January Egyptian revolution, one of the most important factors that make facing the poverty problem in Egypt in a bad situation, is the growth rate of the population, which increase the complexity of measuring and facing the problem.
Previous researchers concluded many recommendations to face poverty, but there is a gap, we need to link poverty and population together in our plan to face the problem, as families with large households, especially those who live in rural areas has high impact on increasing the percentage of poverty in Egypt due to the effect of poverty multiplier. The next section will discuss the problem which concerned about poverty and population in Egypt then the measurement of poverty in Egypt, after it a section for concluded recommendations to face poverty in Egypt with a conclusion as the last section.
Demographic theory and Population Policy in Egypt After 1952 revolution, over the course of the nineteen years of Nasser's rule, the regime Embarked on an ambitious program of populist political and social reform that included rural land reform, the nationalization of foreign companies, and eventually, the creation of a socialist state. Egyptian socialist planning, officially launched in 1961, aimed at eradicating the "backwardness" of the nation (attributed to centuries of Ottoman and then British colonial rule) and creating a modern citizenry capable of carrying out a program of national advancement.
Overpopulation, which had largely been discussed in the pre-1952 era as an issue of rural reform, was taken up by the new government as a problem to be remedied by state-driven development. Although proponents of birth control continued to advocate on its behalf, the regime rejected contraception as a means to combat overpopulation in favor of a socioeconomic approach that held that development and modernization would eventually result in a decrease in fertility rates.
Through state provision of the basic accoutrements of "modern civilization "-running water, toilets, electric lights-the rate of Egyptian peasant reproduction was expected to drop, further improving standards of living and aiding the process of Egypt's "transition" from a backward agricultural economy to a modern industrialized one, as had happened in Europe a hundred years previously. Egypt's new leaders were certainly not unique in drawing on a "transition theory" of demographic change.
This was the preferred strategy employed by many leaders in the newly postcolonial world and the global South who sought remedies for social and economic ills in smaller populations. The late 1950s and early 1960s, however, saw a decisive shift from a socioeconomic approach to overpopulation to one based on family planning. Most damaging to proponents of macro modernization as a panacea for the population problem were the results of the 1960 census.
According to census figures, by 1960 Egypt's population had reached 26 million and was growing at an annual rate of 2. 4 percent, a significant increase over the 1. 41 percent increase measured in the 1947 census. It was not simply that Egypt's population was continuing to increase hut that the rate of growth recorded by the census was the highest ever recorded in the history of Egypt. A theoretical work in demography being conducted by Frank Notestein and his colleagues at Princeton's influential Center for Population Research, U. S. demographers had come, by the mid-1950s, to view high fertility as an impediment to development rather than as a problem that could be remedied by it.
Major fertility studies undertaken in India, Japan, Taiwan, Malaya, Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, Korea, and China indicated that, despite improvements brought about by modernization, population continued to increase. Egypt's population would reach 24 million in 1970-a figure that would have appeared alarming in 1944, but that, by 1960, had proved to be low-if its growth rates continued. ' Hana Rizk, the head of the Social Science Research Center at the American University in Cairo.
Rizk pointed out in her talk at both the IPPF’s 1952 Bombay conference and its conference in Tokyo, that it had only taken Egypt half a century to double itspopulation. If the current rate of national increase continued, she warned, it would only take another quarter-century for Egypt to double its population again. Poverty in Egypt Poverty profiles are a useful way of summarizing information on the levels of poverty and the characteristics of the poor in a society. They also provide us with important clues to the underlying determinants of poverty.
However, important as they are, poverty profiles are limited by the complicated nature of their informational content. Several poverty profiles with descriptive analysis of the characteristics of the poor have been produced for Egypt. See, for example, Ali, El-Laithy, and Hamza (1994), Korayem (1994), El-Laithy and Osman (1996), Cardiff (1997), and Datt, Jolliffe, and Sharma (2001). Haddad and Ahmed (2003) extend the poverty profile analysis by looking at transitions in and out of poverty in Egypt between 1997 and 1999.
Adams (2000), Ahmed and Bouis (2002), and Gutner (2002) examine the interaction between the food subsidy system in Egypt and poverty, providing a discussion of the feasibility of reforming the food subsidy system and its potential impact on the poor. Hence the people receiving less than $2 per day are considered poor and those who receive more are considered non-poor, according to international sources, 44% of the Egyptian population is below the absolute poverty line of $2, using per capita consumption as the measure of individual welfare, the poor tend to have larger household sizes and higher dependency ratios.
The higher dependency ratios for the poor, however, are almost entirely on account of extra children, rather than the aged. We find that the poor are more likely to live in dwellings without permanent walls or roofs, and the urban poor are somewhat more likely to live in dwellings they do not own. The poor’s access to infrastructure and public facilities (measured by the travel time to the nearest facility) tends to be similar to that of the non-poor. The relevant distinction here seems to be between the extreme poor and the rest.
The extreme poor have substantially more limited access to facilities such as schools, hospitals, and markets but have closer access to agricultural extension and cooperatives, and village banks. The poor and the non-poor tend to have similar rates of labor force participation, on the other hand, of those who are labor force participants (either working or available for work), unemployment rates tend to be higher for the poor than for the non-poor, in terms of the primary occupation, the poor tend to be concentrated in relatively low-paying jobs in the casual labor market.
Poverty rates are found to be highest amongst those dependent on the agricultural, construction, and the trade and services sectors for their livelihood. We do not find evidence of a sharp poverty profile by industry of employment, though we do find that those dependent on the community and personal services sector have significantly lower rates of poverty than those dependent on agriculture, construction, and trade and services. These results suggest that policies promoting the latter three sectors are likely to be more important to the poor.
One of the more striking set of findings relates to the differences between the poor and the non-poor in their educational attainments. Our results indicate a significant literacy and schooling gap between the poor and the non-poor. On average the poor have 2. 6 fewer years of schooling than the non-poor, and their literacy rate is 27 percent lower than the non poor. Better education is an important non-income dimension of welfare, and hence there is a strong case for raising educational attainments nationwide.
The case for closing the education gap of the poor is even stronger. Our results also indicate that augmenting educational attainment of the poor does not require building more schools, but reducing the poor’s opportunity cost of attending schools and increasing their returns from extra schooling, both suggesting the importance of income generating activities as a policy instrument. Poverty measurement in Egypt About 15. 7 million persons, or about 26. 5% of the population, are deemed to be poor in Egypt in 1997, of these, 5. million are deemed to be in extreme poverty. Poverty rates are observed to be significantly higher in the rural sector, and about 63% of the poor live in rural areas. Researches results indicate a sharp sectoral difference in poverty with rural areas being significantly poorer, but we do not find differences in poverty between Upper and Lower Egypt, in this respect our findings depart from the conventional wisdom that Upper Egypt is substantially poorer than Lower Egypt.
Conventional wisdom has been founded on poverty studies that have ignored spatial-price differentials, indeed, when it suppress spatial differences in poverty lines, it can reproduce a regional poverty profile that is more in accordance with conventional expectations, the results do suggest, though, that there is scope for using sectoral targeting to reduce poverty due to the large difference in poverty between urban and rural sectors. Recommendations how to face Poverty in Egypt
The pro-poor policies applied in Egypt are not satisfactory in terms of either coverage or the amount of aid received by beneficiaries, Two essential preconditions are necessary, we believe, to improve and strengthen the impact of pro-poor policies on the scale and the level of poverty in Egypt. The first precondition is to make poverty eradication a high priority, equal to other important national goals such as raising the rate of economic growth, reducing unemployment, increasing exports, and so on. That would require a political decision, one that is not easy to achieve.
Poverty is a politically sensitive issue in the Third World, and Egypt is no exception. The government and the ruling elite in these countries barely acknowledge that poverty exists in their societies. This can be explained by their conviction that poverty is seen as their fault. To strengthen the campaign against poverty in these countries, we must first change this perception, so that poverty is seen as a consequence of underdevelopment. Then it would be politically feasible to regard the eradication of poverty as a challenge of development, like raising income levels, reducing high rates of population growth, and so on.
The second precondition is the understanding of the dynamics of poverty, which itself takes two forms. First, we have to identify the factors that cause poverty to be inherited from one generation to the next. Recognizing these factors will enable the government to intervene appropriately at an early stage. For example, if malnutrition in childhood affects an individual’s IQ throughout life, the negative impact of this factor can be counteracted by distributing free, balanced meals in the preparatory schools.
Such a policy would save money that the government could then spend on human development (to raise labor productivity). However important it is to recognize the factors underlying the dynamics of poverty in Egyptian society, no studies of this type have been conducted. Second, the failure to grasp how poverty is growing reduces the effectiveness Of policies applied to counteract it. The growth of poverty is governed by what we call the poverty multiplier, which accelerates the transfer of poverty through generations.
For example, the failure to eradicate the poverty of a family with seven members (two parents and five Children), will result in poverty being bequeathed in the next generation to five families with thirty-five members. By the same token, if we succeed in lifting this family out of poverty, we forestall the potential poverty of thirty-five members of the next generation: the poverty multiplier works in both directions. Because of the poverty multiplier, policies should be directed at attacking poverty rather than gradually reducing it. This means more funds must be allocated to eliminating poverty.
Coordination between government and private (local and foreign) organizations would increase the efficiency of resource mobilization toward this end, so we have several recommendations. If pro-poor policies are to be effective, political sensitivity to poverty must be eliminated; this requires a change in the perception of poverty among the government and the political elite. Poverty has to be seen not as an accusation against the government and its policies but as one outcome of underdevelopment, which has been bequeathed and accumulated over an extended period of time.
Conclusion The current government is, however, responsible for what happens with poverty and should take whatever steps it can to reduce it. This in turn requires an understanding of the dynamics of poverty, recognition of the factors that determine the transfer of poverty through generations. This information would make it possible for the government to intervene early enough to reduce the probability of poverty transfer through successive generations.
In addition, the poverty multiplier should be taken into consideration in designing and implementing pro-poor policies. The poverty multiplier is higher in Third World countries, including Egypt, because of the relatively large size of poor households. The failure to take the poverty multiplier into account may explain the limited effect of income-generating policies on poverty eradication in Egypt, even though several nongovernmental and international organizations are working in this area side by side with the overnment. Efforts should be made to coordinate the work of organizations in this area in terms of both money spent and the allocation of funds, so as to improve efficiency. Finally, the government’s scale of priorities should be revised, placing the eradication of poverty high on the national agenda together with other national objectives (such as raising income rates and reducing population growth) and allocating more resources toward this end.