About 32.5% of the Egyptians are living below the poverty line in 2017/18, compared to 27.8% in 2015, according to the expenditure and income research prepared by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), Khairat Barakat, chairperson of CAPMAS, announced on Monday.
The research set the national poverty line at EGP 735.7 per month.
“About 75.8% of families with over 10 members, 73% of families with 8-9 members, and 7% of families with 1-3 members are living in poverty,” according to Barakat.
Meanwhile, he showed out that the average annual household expenditure increased to EGP 51,400 annually, compared to EGP 36,700 in the previous survey in 2015, while the average family income hiked to EGP 58,000 per year in 2017/18, against EGP 44,200 during 2015.
He added that 88.5% of families are covered in food ration subsides, stating that the food ration subsides increased to EGP 2,000 per individual during 2018, compared to only EGP 860 in the previous survey.
Barakat stated that the survey was conducted on 26,000 families from all governorates, noting that the CAPMAS team has visited these families eight times within the duration of the survey, which was two years.
CAPMAS expenditure and income research showed that the poverty has increased in all regions of Egypt, except in rural areas in Upper Egypt, revealing also that the extreme poverty has also returned back recording 6.2% among the Egyptians.
“Despite the improvement in rural areas in Upper Egypt, 52% of its population are still unable to secure their basic needs. This segment includes 40.3% of the poor people across Egypt,” according to CAPMAS.
Barakat mentioned that only 25.2% of Egypt’s population live in rural areas in Upper Egypt.
“Seven out of 10 poorest governorates in Egypt, are located in Upper Egypt, topped by Assiut recording the highest poverty rates of 66.7% among its population,” according to Barakat.
“Sohag ranked second by 59.6%, followed by Luxor by 55.3%, Minya by 54%, New Valley by 52.6%, and Matrouh by 50.1%,” according to CAPMAS.
Beheira ranked seventh by 47.7%, followed by Aswan by 46.2%, Qena by 41.3%, and finally North Sinai by 38.4%.
“Port said has the lowest poverty rate of 7.6%,” according to CAPMAS.
Furthermore, CAPMAS revealed that food and beverages expenditure increased to account for 37.1% of total household expenditure in 2017/18, compared to 34.4% in 2015.
The research showed that the housing expenditure rose to 18.6% of household expenditure.
Barakat stated that the share of health care spending decreased to 9.9% of household expenditure, compared to 10% in 2015.
Also, the share of education expenditure decreased to 4.5% of the total household expenditure, compared to 4.8% in 2015.
CAPMAS noted that the lowest average family income reached EGP 30,400 in 2017/18, up from EGP 22,500 in 2015, while the highest average family income was EGP 100,300, up from EGP 81,000 in 2015.
In that regard, Barakat stated that each family that consists of two adults needs EGP 1,667 per month to secure its basic needs, while the family that includes two adults and two children needs EGP 2,691 per month, while the family that consists of two adults and three children needs EGP 3.225 per month.
The agency said that the poorest 10% of Egypt’s population receive 28.2% of the allocations of Takaful and Karama programmes, while the poorest 40% receive 70% of these allocations.
Abdel Hamid Sharaf, head of the Population Research Sector in CAPMAS, said the extreme poverty line in Egypt reached EGP 5,890 per year, which is the minimum level for citizens to survive.