About The Situation
In the shadows of Egypt’s ancient cultural riches lurk scenes of deep poverty. One in five Egyptians is poor, and the gap between rich and poor is extremely wide. For those from impoverished families, education is difficult to attain. More than one-quarter of youth ages 18-29 have not completed basic education (primary and secondary school), and one in 10 in this age group has never enrolled in school. Lack of education makes it difficult to break the cycle of poverty.
But even those who have struggled to achieve a high-level education do not always find themselves rewarded with a high-paying job—or any job at all. Unemployment over the past two decades has ranged from one in 10 Egyptians to as high as one in four, and the jobless rate tends to be highest among groups with high levels of education. This has contributed to discontent among education youth.
Problems of poverty and unemployment in Egypt have been chronic, but political unrest in early 2011 added to these burdens for many families. The full effect is still unknown.
HOW ISLAMIC RELIEF IS HELPING
Islamic Relief started working in Egypt in 2001, helping generate income for impoverished families and assisting disabled persons, particularly children. After political unrest in early 2011 led to an increase in poverty and unemployment in Egypt, Islamic Relief expanded its programs to serve more people.
Here are some current and recently completed programs in Egypt:
- Family sponsorship program.
- Food services, medication coverage, school supplies and more are provided to 150 of the neediest families in Ayyat and Helwan, assisting some 750 individuals overall.
- Food aid: Two thousand deeply impoverished families in Helwan, Ayyat and Minya have so far been given 30-pound food packages, each of which can feed a family of five for two months. The package includes rice, macaroni, beans, cooking oil, sugar and canned meat. The effort is benefitting 12,000 individuals.
- Early Intervention and Rehabilitation Center (EIRC): The center in Helwan provides rehabilitation services to disabled children; counseling and support for family members; and training for local professionals in related fields. It benefits 800 children, 2,000 family members and 500 trainees.
- Orphan support.