Information by Country

Egypt: Background

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.
Over the last decade, Egypt has made great strides towards the achievement of child rights. By 1999, the infant mortality rate (IMR) and under-five mortality rate (U5MR) were halved. Immunization coverage is currently 95 per cent. Primary school net enrolment has risen and the gender gap has decreased. The proportion of children completing grade five now shows no gender disparity. Government statistics show improved access to safe drinking water. The Government has placed children at the centre of Egypt's social development plans, mandating the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood to monitor the translation of political will into budgetary allocations and results for children. Commitment has remained high, resulting in the Presidential Declaration of the Second Decade for the Protection and Welfare of the Egyptian Child (2000-2010) and Egypt's new Social Development Agenda, both of which focus on the nation's youth and on the disadvantaged.

Egypt's excellent media resources offer myriad opportunities to reach large segments of the population. Over 90 per cent of households have access to television and radio. Recent studies indicate a need to improve the content of programmes for parents and children as well as the importance of addressing the preponderance of materials biased towards the male, urban, middle-class population.

Despite the achievements registered during the last decade in improving children's and women's survival and narrowing the gender gap in education enrolment, there are still disadvantaged groups that require attention. This is especially evident in Upper Rural Egypt. As the 2000/2001 World Bank report on poverty shows, while poverty decreased nationwide during the second half of the 1990s, in Upper Egypt it actually increased. The number of children who work and do not attend school in Upper Egypt is also disproportionately higher than elsewhere in the country.


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