tisdag 27 juli 2010

Ojämlikhet i Egypten

"For all of Egypt’s abundant riches, the plain fact is that most Egyptians remain poor. The government insists that less than a fifth of the population (and falling) subsists below the global poverty threshold of $2 a day. Yet household expenditure surveys show that four-fifths of families have less than $3,000 a year to spend. That sounds about right: $200 a month is considered a good salary for an Egyptian. /.../

It is possible to live a comfortable rich-world sort of life in Egypt, and many people do; in some ways it is easier than in well-off countries because maids and cooks and drivers are cheap./.../
Among the wealthiest fifth of Egyptians, some 82% say they are generally satisfied with their living standards; among the poorest fifth only 29% do. Nearly all rich kids but scarcely a quarter of poor ones brush their teeth, largely because toothpaste is an unaffordable luxury. The poorest are also more than twice as likely to die as infants, or to suffer from hepatitis C. /.../
Nearly all Egyptian homes have piped water and electricity, but away from Cairo the power is often cut and taps often produce mere dribbles of water whose poor quality explains high levels of kidney disease. Nationwide, less than half the homes (and less than a third in the poor south) are connected to public sewage systems. In a survey of Egypt’s poorest villagers 91% said the service they needed most urgently was sewers. Visitors to Egypt invariably remark on the grubbiness of its streets. Statistics show that among the poorest fifth of Egyptians 85% of households have no proper means of rubbish disposal, so they burn it, dump it by the side of roads, tip it into canals or feed it to wandering goats and chickens. /.../
recently Egypt has seen an uncharacteristic flaring up of strikes and protests of every kind. For the first few months of this year the streets around the parliament were occupied around the clock by angry factory workers, disgruntled tax inspectors or junior doctors, all protesting against their miserable pay. Nor is the disillusion just about money. At least in spirit, more and more Egyptians have joined the small core of political activists, many of them Islamists or leftists, who insistently demand civil rights and an end to police brutality and sham democracy."
Economist, "No paradise", 15 juli

Egypten rankas som ett "low middle income"-land (i spannet $736-2,935) av Världsbanken. Enligt CIA World Factbook var landets gini-koefficient år 2001 34,4; ungefär på samma nivå som Estland, Storbritannien, Algeriet och Laos.

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