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Mubarak’s Achievements: 20% of Egyptians Under Poverty Line
Mubarak’s Achievements: 20% of Egyptians Under Poverty Line
The report of " The Strategic and Economic Trends" issued by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies blamed the successive governments for the ....
Thursday, July 12,2007 16:14
IkhwanWeb

The report of " The Strategic and Economic Trends" issued by Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies blamed the successive governments for the responsibility of deteriorating economic situations in a way that increased poverty, unemployment unprecedentedly, and it warned against the regime"s flagrant nepotism to the upper classes .

The report was issued by Ahmed Al Sayed Al Nagar, an economist in the center, and it included a chapter entitled "Poverty and Marginalization in Egypt" in which he reveals clearly the status quo of poverty among Egyptian people, something that we may call it " this is the map of poverty in Egypt"; also, the report gave the real figures of unemployment rates which are greatly underestimated by the government.

The report confirms that the economic marginalization is one of the main factors for impoverishment, not only to the well known section of the poor constituting workers, hired farmers and small-size farmers, but to other important sections in the middle class, including graduates, intellectuals and owners of minor and family projects. The report points out that depriving any human being of educational and health services is eventually depriving him for academic and health services and denying them work and participating in the economic activity and leading a decent way of living.

The report says that the flagrant nepotism from the part of the Egyptian political regime to the upper class and its various interests and also the control of the capital over the regime, all these contribute to widening the gap between classes and increase injustice in a way or another; all this leads to an overall marginalization, including the economic marginalization, against wide sections of the society, in addition to the spread of corruption that which leads to illegally transferring public properties to private companies and investments, and even transferring them to pockets of bureaucrats pockets as a price for getting licences or easing measures.

The report confirms that Egypt is currently suffering from a horrible level of poverty and marginalization, although they aren"t appearing as they are on reality. According to official figures, the relative share of the revenues owners to rose from 51.5% in of the gross domestic product at lat 1980s to about 71.4% of this GDP in mid 1990s while the relative share of owners of wages and salaries and pensions decreased from 48.5% from the gross domestic product in the late 1980s to 28.6% from this GDP in 1995.

According to the Minister of Planning poverty is being reduced in Egypt. This is an optimistic assessment to say the least. World Bank figures published in 2005 indicate that in 2000 almost 3.1 per cent of the population (that is around two million people) lived on $1 a day or less and that 43.9 per cent (or 28 million people) lived on $2 a day or less. According to a survey conducted in 1999 and 2000, the poorest 10 per cent of the population made 3.7 per cent of the country"s income. The poorest 20 per cent made 8.6 per cent of the income. The second poorest 20 per cent made 12.1 per cent of the income. The third poorest 20 per cent made 15.4 per cent of the income. The second richest 20 per cent of the population made 20.4 per cent of the income. The richest 20 per cent of the population made 43.6 per cent of the income. And the richest 10 per cent made 29.5 per cent of the country"s total income.

Comparing these statistics with the survey held in 1991, we will find that the rich became richer and the poor became poorer as the relative share of the poor and medium incomes deteriorate from the total national income, while the richer section becomes richer mainly at the expense of the middle class.


There is bleak picture when you compare such figures with World Bank statistics for 1998-99. There is little doubt that poverty in Egypt increased throughout the 1990s. In 1991 the poorest 10 per cent of the population made 3.9 per cent of the country"s income. The poorest 20 per cent of the population made 8.7 per cent of the income. The third poorest 20 per cent of the population made 16.3 per cent of the income. The second richest 20 per cent of the population made 21.4 per cent of the income. The richest 20 per cent of the population made 41.1 per cent of the income. And the richest 10 per cent made 26.7 per cent of the country"s income.
The report confirmed that the government figures not include the huge incomes gained by corruption and looting public property, and those coming from black economy, drug trafficking, currencies, weapon, monuments and vices and other illegal activities in which most dealers belong to the upper class and get most of their incomes, consequently adding them to the real incomes of this section to increase its share from the income at the expense of the middle and lower classes.
Workers are poor, as are landless peasants. Low ranking government officials live close to the poverty line unless they have means -- legal or illegal -- of augmenting their salaries. The unemployed are poor, even though some work in the informal sector. This is the underclass of society. These are the people who live in the randomly built areas around our towns. And at the first sign of social upheaval they can turn into a destructive force. Egypt has an underclass that is economically deprived and politically disorganised. Similar classes in Paris have revolted of late, though their conditions must be better in comparison. The report warned against the possible serious destructive force of these poor people as they may give vent to their anger in a spontaneous uncontrolled manner as a result of living for long years in poverty, marginalization and deprivation from the simplest rights of citizenship.
The report says that the main factors of impoverishment and marginalization in Egypt are injustice of the economic, political and social systems and the increasing control of the capital on the regime in Egypt and the stagnation of the minimum wages and the corruption of the system of salaries and wages in Egypt, and its inconsistency with huge increase in the costs of living, making millions of the junior workers in the state body and private sector actually poor.
According to official figures, unemployment was 9.9 per cent in 2003/04 and 10.6 in 2005. Compare this with the case at the beginning of the last century when unemployment was as low as three per cent, and then with unofficial figures which speak of 30 per cent unemployment. The government underestimates unemployment on purpose by putting it at just 10.6%.
The Central Authority for Public Mobilisation and Statistics (CAPMAS) says 99 per cent of the unemployed are aged between 15 and 40. Almost 88 per cent of the unemployed are aged between 15 and 30. Most of the unemployed, surprisingly enough some 93%, are educated. If anything this is clear waste of both education and labour.
The report concludes that the government depended, in its confronting the crisis of unemployment, on underestimating the real figures and giving a fake picture of the situation, and it depended on sending laborers abroad and adopting aimless training programs and stuffing masked unemployment that hinders work and reduce productivity in government bodies and offering some small loans without giving any due care to borrowers or their projects.


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